Solkadi: Kokum & Coconut Refresher


If you’ve ever eaten an a Malwani restaurant, you’ll know it’s incomplete without a glass of this pale mauve drink. Solkadi is a traditional drink served mostly in Hindu Goan households. It is made with kokum extract and silky coconut milk.

Kokum is widely used to add a puckering sourness with subtle sweetness to a dish. It belongs to the mangosteen family and lends a deep red colour. Whenever I visit Goa, I make it a point to buy a big bag of fresh kokum. In Bombay, my mom relies on the dried variety.

Seafood meals at home – fish fry, prawn masala, fish curry – is always accompanied with a jug full of this creamy drink chilling away in the refrigerator. Here’s a recipe that we’ve been following at home for decades…

Don’t forget to check out some pointers after the recipe.


Two handfuls of kokum rinds
2 cups of water
8 cloves of fresh garlic
3 green chillis
4 to 5 cups of coconut milk (fresh or packaged)
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to finish

Boil kokum in water to extract maximum flavour for a couple of minutes and let it steep till it cools down. When cooled, strain the kokum water and keep aside. Process green chillis, garlic with coconut milk and season as needed.  Combine the coconut milk with kokum water and chill before serving with a final flourish of fresh coriander.

Traditional recipe demands fresh kokum which is a bit difficult to find in the city. Hence, boiling dried kokum helps in extracting maximum flavours

If making your own coconut milk for this recipe, blend together freshly grated coconut with chillis and garlic to a fine paste. Strain this mixture and extract the flavoured coconut milk


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