Sol Kadhi, gets it's name from the Kokum used to sour the coconut milk. Kokum is called Sol in the coastal regions of Maharashtra and Goa and a little upto Mangalore. Kokum is a tropical fruit which looks like a plum and the botanical name is Garcinia Indica.
It's a simple kadhi, very good for the appetite and balances the juices in the tummy when they are going haywire. It's even simpler to make when you have the coconut milk ready. The garnish just covers the whole kadhi green but ideally I would love to do the sol kadhi without the garnish as I hate all that garnish coming in the mouth making sol kadhi less sippable. But then if you don't garnish one might get fooled by the baby pink color and sip it like strawberry milkshake.
Sol kadhi is never to be confused due to the color. This curry is very subtle in taste and absolutely refreshing. Most people do not give it a tadka. However in home cooking I have seen both my Malvani SIL and Ghadigaonkar Tai, a Malvani to the core do a tadka. So that's the way I make it. However I have never seen hotels make a tadka. May be it is a shortcut they devised.
I have seen traditional home cooks use Kokum extract or what is called Agal. This extract is unsweetened and is stored for the year and used in cooking. Whereas I used Kokum sarbat this time which is Kokum and sugar concentrate. The Agal is always stronger in taste and thinner. Whereas the Kokum sarbat is thick and milder, it is pale too. So when you use Agal use less and Sarbat you will need more. The taste of the sourness is balanced with jaggery when using Agal whereas additional sweetner is not required when using Kokum sarbat.
I have exhausted my stock of Agal but did have Kokum sarbat from Mangalore gifted to me by my dear friend Deepa. So I used that instead.
4 tablespoons Kokum sarbat (juice)
2 tablespoon of Kokum extract (agal)
+ 1 small piece jaggery
Coconut milk of 1 coconut
1 green chili
handful of cilantro
few curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon coconut oil
In a deep vessel make a tadka of smoking coconut oil, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, slit green chili and curry leaves. Add the cilantro to the hot tadka, so that the juices will flow out and will flavour the tadka. Add the kokum sarbat or agal. If you have the coconut milk separate in the thick and thin batches. Then add the thin coconut milk on the tadka in the vessel and warm it up a bit but do not boil. Now pour the thick coconut milk into it and stir to mix. Put off the heat. This dish is never boiled as the sour kokum separates the coconut milk into globules which look unappetizing.
When using agal add the jaggery after the tadka and let it melt on heat then follow in by the coconut milk and put off heat.
Enjoy the Sol kadhi like a soup before the meal or drink along the meal or like the traditional way make it your main curry. That's what I did, see.