Monday, April 20, 2015

Spiced Watermelon Mocktail

Time for summer-y drinks to keep the heat at bay! Finally!! 

In the mood to bring a little bit of fun and excitement to my kitchen, I came up with this oh-so-darling combination. Sipping it made me feel like I was at a fancy resort somewhere sitting on poolside with a big straw hat, my legs knee deep in the water. 



But thats not it! I needed to spike up the spicy quotient! You'll see when we get there!! 

I love making granitas of this stuff too. Will post a pic soon when I make it yet again. Makes for excellent slushies and best part is that it is kid friendly. Let that not deter you though. If you want to make this into a cocktail, I reckon a shot of gin, or some watermelon vodka would do great. 

In case you're not familiar with 'Kokum', let me introduce you to it. Garcinia indica, a plant from the mangosteen family, commonly known as kokum, is a fruit bearing tree that has culinary, pharma and industrial uses. (source: wiki)

We have been using Kokum in our kitchens since generations. Its a vital part of the local Gujarati cuisine. Kokum renders a sweet tangy-ness. To make the best possible use of Kokum, you need to plan ahead though. It gives best results when soaked overnight. So on to the Spiced Watermelon Mocktail! 

Time taken: overnight prep+ 20 mins

Serves: 4

Complexity: **

You'll need:

1 Watermelon (deseeded or seedless preferably), chilled
3-4 dried kokum fruit
2 cups of water
1- 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp black salt/ pink salt
1 tsp freshly roasted cumin powder
salt to line the glass rim
slit green chili (de-seeded if you will) 
pinch of love

Method

You can make the Kokum water in a large batch and use it as you please. Thats what I do. So just take some dried Kokum fruit in a bowl



Add 2 cups of water to it, cover and let it steep overnight. 



The next morning you'll see the colour of the water has changed to this deep amber tone. There might be some impurities on the surface of the water but thats okay. 



Next pour the contents of the bowl in a pan so you can boil it all properly. 



On a high flame for a couple of minutes and the water should be boiling.



To strain that amber coloured liquid, take a bowl, place a clean muslin cloth over it. And then place your big sieve over that muslin cloth. This will help strain out the teensiest impurities



Plonk the soaked Kokum over the self made strainer and let it filter out on its own. 



See how clear and beautiful it is! 



While it is still warm, add in the 2 tbsp of sugar in it. This just helps balance out the extreme tangy-ness.



Next, because you're really adventurous, take a few drops of this kokum water and place them on ur tongue. I dare you not to squint! ;)

For the mocktail, In a big jar, take around 5-6 tbsp of this Kokum water, for a whole watermelon, around 8-9 cups of chunks. You can add more later if required. We only need a low hum of a tang instead of overpowering the watermelon-y flavour.



Next add in the freshly roasted and powdered cumin and black salt. 


I didn't take a pic of the black salt and I'm inserting a picture taken from google for those who don't know what it is. 



Meanwhile, cut up your watermelon 



Take chunks of your watermelon and place them in the blender to make a puree. 



Whizz whizz whizz. And the puree is ready!



Time to strain in the watermelon. 



What I did was I strained half the watermelon puree



and added the pulpy half as it is. Love how the pulp adds texture to the drink. Add in your pinch of love. Give it a taste and adjust the taste if required. 



The jar all ready for consumption! To serve, line the rim of the glass with a little bit of lemon and then coat it with salt. Pour in the juice. 

Split a gorgeous green chili lengthwise and perch it on the rim of the glass so it floats around in the mocktail. Add in a couple of icecubes if you need. The more the drink sits, the spicier it becomes. Kickass!! 



Red beauty. I also added a wee bit of ground cumin on the edges, just to bring out the mellow spices a little bit. 



Indulge!