Monday, April 25, 2022

Kokum Rasam

This is an easy and delicious rasam using kokum, a fruit. This rasam is a simple and comforting spiced up broth with kokum and the taste of this rasam is a great plus! This is also a vegan rasam and uses oil for tempering. This is my version of kokum rasam without jaggery and with a little pepper cumin powder.

Kokum is a fruit that belongs to the mangosteen family. Kokum, Garcinia Indica, has culinary and medical uses. It aids in digestion and helps reduce acidity. Kokum has an acidic taste similar to tamarind but the flavors are quite different. While tamarind is sharp and very tangy, kokum has a mellow tart flavor. This kokum is traditionally used in dals and curries. Dried kokum is available in all stores either as halves or pieces. It can be soaked in hot water and used. I found the wet kokum this time and used it in this recipe. Kokum rasam or punarpuli saar is popular in Karnataka. 

Once the kokum has soaked for 20-30 minutes, squeeze well and strain. The filtered kokum water is boiled with a little black pepper, green chili, pepper cumin powder ( I usually add this to most of my rasams at the final stage to boost the flavors), and salt to make this rasam. Adjust the salt and black pepper as per your taste.

Traditional Punarpuli rasam uses jaggery to balance the kokum. This recipe uses 7 to 8 pieces of kokum and the tart level was perfect for us. If you use 7 to 8 halves of kokum, add a little jaggery to balance the flavors. I like a spicy version of rasam and hence didn't add jaggery, but would taste amazing with sweet, tart, and spicy flavors.

Rasam is a South Indian spicy broth that boosts health and is always comforting. It is usually made with a tamarind base. Tart or sour fruits can be used in dals and rasams. Apple Rasam, Cranberry Rasam, Jamun/Black Plum Rasam, Lemon Rasam are some fruit based rasams that are soothing. This kokum rasam is a similar one!

This rasam can be sipped as a broth or can be served with a grain making a comforting meal. Podi Adiacha Kathrikai/Spic Powder Stuffed Eggplants, Avarakai Curry, or Ponnanganni Keerai Poricha Kootu are amazing sides to serve with this rasam.

Did I say that this rasam is ready in 10 minutes if you have soaked kokum? Yes, sometimes I make drinks with kokum during summer, and have some soaked ones in the refrigerator. This soaks quickly in hot water, so by the time you refresh and plan the meal, this would be ready to make the rasam.

This is also vegan rasam. Oil is used for tempering. Any oil can be used. Ghee can also be used for tempering like in traditional rasams.

I have been sharing delicious rasam recipes this year and that too from A to Z. This is part of my Blogging Marathon and this is my version of kokum rasam for the letter 'K'. Below are the links to raving rasam recipes shared so far. Try these and let me know how you loved them.


Kokum - 7 to 8 pieces, wet kokum
Water - 2 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Green chili - 1, slit
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp (recipe here)
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, chopped


Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/4 tsp
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 to 5, torn


Soak the kokum in hot water for 20-30 minutes.

Squeeze and extract the juice, filter the juice.

Add salt, black pepper powder, slit green chili to the kokum water and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add the pepper cumin powder and simmer for a minute. Remove from the flame.

Heat oil in a pan, add the red chili and mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters add the cumin, followed by curry leaf, and asafetida. Fry for 20 seconds.

Add the tempering to the rasam. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve this as a broth or with grains and veggie sides.


  1. Lovely! I just got some fresh kokum from Goa! Let me give this rasam a try now. It sounds super delicious , I love the flavor of this wet kokum.

  2. This is so good Radha, so healthy too...I have used kokum only a few times..rasam with it sounds awesome!