Recipe: Rice noodles. Rainbow veggies. Kokum jaggery dressing

It’s amazing how despite living in the same country we’re so unaware of what’s eaten in the parts that are further away from us. Growing up in the central India, I had not heard of Kokum. It’s only when I moved to Mumbai did I learn about this magic ingredient and now my summers are incomplete without it. Apart from adding it to my dal, I love to make salad dressing with it. It just lifts up the flavour of summer salad and makes it super cooling.

I have taught this cooling summer salad in my workshops a few times and it’s my go to recipe in this season. The rice, fresh summer veggies and kokum make for a perfectly wholesome meal that’s easy to digest in this hot weather.

Kokum (Garcinia indica) is an Indian cousin of the mangosteen family and grows in the western and southern coastal region of India. While the fresh kokum is available for a limited period, it’s skin id dried and used throughout the year to flavour the curries, make a cooling sharbat and sol kadi, or in ma case – salad dressings. Kokum is high in vitamin C, something we need more of during summers. As per Ayurveda, kokum is extremely cooling and a natural antacid so pitta people, make it a regular feature in your diet especially during summers when pitta is on a high. It’s also rich in antioxidants and helps increase immunity.

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Rice noodles. Rainbow veggies. Kokum jaggery dressing
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Asian
  • 100 gms rice noodles/glass noodles
  • 200 gms hot water to soak the noodles
  • 1 small head Purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • Half a carrot, julienned
  • Half red + half yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Handful of green beans, thin long slices, blanched
  • 2 Spring onions, think sliced along with the Greens
  • Handful of fresh coriander
For the dressing:
  • 3 Kokum (wet variety)
  • 1 cup water to soak the Kokum
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Pinch of fennel seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • Salt
  • Handful of fresh tulsi leaves
  1. Soak the noodles in hot water for 5-10 min until soft.
  2. Soak the Kokum in warm water for 15 min. Squeeze out all the juice and strain. Discard the pulp and reserve the soaked Kokum liquid.
  3. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add fennel seeds, green chilli and garlic. Cook for a min. Add Kokum water, jaggery, salt and cook it on medium flame till the dressing thickens up. Remove from the flame. Add finely chopped Tulsi leaves and mix.
  4. To assemble, take out the noodles, all the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Dress it with kokum jaggery dressing and combine well.
  5. Let it sit in refrigerator (covered) for 15-20 min before serving.

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