- Kokum or mangosteen is considered the queen of fruits by botanists.
- Native to india it is used copiously in its dried form as a souring agent in cooking. Boiled it makes for a beautiful red syrup. The active ingredient garcinol reduces inflammation and ulcers hence its an excellent cooling drink in the summer.
- In the market dried mangosteen or kokum is found in the soft and hard form. Its a dark, gnarled, purplish pod. This recipe calls for the soft variety.
- FOR 1 LITER CONCENTRATE
- 2 cups soft dried kokum or mangosteen
- 2 cups castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly roasted and powdered cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black rock salt- sanchal or kala namak (optional)
- Pour two cups of tap water over the kokum. Don't soak it, instead immediately drain it to remove impurities.
- Place the rinsed fruit and 3 liters of water in a large stock and cook on a high flame until it begins to boil.
- Add sugar ad continue to cook until the syrup reduces to 1-1.25 liters.
- Drain in a sieve and using the back of a spoon press against the fruit to squeeze out all the juices. Discard this fruit.
- Chill the concentrate and use for up to 6 weeks.
- TO ASSEMBLE
- Pour about 1/4 cup concentrate into a high ball glass. Add ice if desired. Top with chilled water or club soda and stir in black salt and cumin if you like.
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