Kokum is a sour fruit belonging to the mangosteen family. It is native to the Western Ghats region of India and is widely used in Maharashtrian and Konkan cuisines. The combination of kokum, garlic, cumin and chilli powder give this amti its distinctive taste that is quite unlike other coconut based curries.
My favourite way to eat this kokum amti is with steamed rice and crispy potatoes, just the way Aji (my grandmother) used to serve it.
This recipe has a very special place in my heart. When I was new to cooking, Aji would often include recipes in the letters she would write me. I have preserved these hand written letters ever so carefully along with the fond memories of this amti.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup grated coconut
2-3 pods garlic
1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon Chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 pieces of Kokum
1/4 teaspoon rice flour
1 tablespoon oil
- Blend together the grated coconut, garlic pods, peppercorns, chilli powder and salt until you have a smooth and velvety paste. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Saute till cumin seeds splutter.
- Now add the paste of coconut and spices and saute on medium heat until it changes colour to turn a mild pink.
- Turn down the heat and add the rice flour. Add the coconut milk and stir to avoid lumps. Simmer on medium heat until it reaches a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
- Turn down the heat. Add the kokum and stir briefly. Take the pan off the heat and let the kokum soak in the coconut curry for at least an hour or so.
- Heat on a mild flame and serve with steamed rice and crispy potatoes or a spicy prawn pickle.
- I have modified Aji’s recipe slightly. Instead of blending the cumin seeds with the cocounut, I like to saute them lightly.
- I also use rice flour instead of chickpea flour as I am allergic to besan (chickpea flour).