Jul 19, 2009

Sol Kadhi for the soul

My earliest memory of sole kadhi is of my Kaki (aunt) squeezing the coconut milk out of grated coconut while kokams soaked in warm water in a bowl. She was born and brought up in Bomaby and to this day she makes the best sol kadhi and fish fry in our family. I remember drinking glass after glass of it when we went to her home for dinner.
Years later, as a single girl working in Bombay, India, I found another outlet for seafood and sol kadhi – Gomantak or seafood restaurants. For a couple of years, our Indian Express offices moved to Lower Parel (W) and we had a couple of hole in the wall Gomantaks in its maze of alleys. Since Lower Parel has a lot of mills and advertising agencies, these Gomantaks were frequented by the mill workers and a lot of junior level advertising employees. And once we moved there, my colleagues and I too became regulars at the nearby Gomantaks.
For me, given a choice between a thali and a fried Bangra, I always chose the bangra accompanied by at least two glasses of sole kadhi. It cost me about Rs 25, about 12 years ago and it was a bargain even in those days.

After coming to the US, sole kadhi slowly slipped out of my mind, mainly because it is hard to find fresh Bangra or good quality kokam. Four years ago when my in-laws were visiting from India, my MIL was fascinated with the ready availability of coconut milk, even though it is canned. In fact, she liked the thickness and taste of it better than going through the process of extracting it from grated coconut. We decided to make sole kadhi as a surprise for my FIL, who had grown up drinking it on the coastal town of Honavar but had not had it in years since moving to Gujrat. Here’s the recipe we came up with and it is pretty close to my Kaki’s as well as the Gomantak’s recipe.
1 can coconut milk
1 can water
5-6 kokum
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of cumin powder (optional)
1-2 green chillies
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste

Soak the kokum in ¼ cup of warm water for at least 30 minutes. The water will turn a lovely lavender color. Squeeze the kokum out and retain the water.
In a blender, combine the kokum pulp with the rest of the ingredients and blend. The kadhi will assume a pink hue* especially if the kokum is fresh.
Serve chilled.
*The only kokums I am able to get in the US are dry and so I never get the lovely pink color in my kadhi.
I am sending this sol kadhi for the soul to PJ's Go Nuts event and also to RCI -- Udipi and Manglor event.
RCI-Udupi & Mangalore


  1. I have never heard of this before..very interesting ingredients jaya, never used kokum with coconut and that too in a drink, thanks for introducing me to this drink.

  2. I am a big fan of sol kadi too. My dad being Konkani, it was a popular dish for busy weeknights. The flavor still dances on my tongue :)

  3. Sol kadhi is kadhi for my soul too. Fortunately I do get wet kokums around here and I do get that fresh pink color :)

  4. You are welcome Parita.

    Mints, I am so jealous but you and Vaishali are sisters of my soul. Cheers:)

  5. I get bagful of kokums from Bangalore and my Aayi and Aaji used to make this often with coconut milk.

    I am not so fond of the coconut milk available here and am too lazy to do the coconut milk myself, so I make the kokum kadi minus the coconut :-( Looks good.


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