Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Punarpuli Saaru | Kokum Saru | Kokum Rasam : South Indian Special Rasam Recipe

Here is what my mom-in-law has to say about punarpuli/bhadpuli/kokum. "When my mom was alive, she used to dry the kokum & prepare rasam with both dry & fresh kokum(also known as bhadpuli in Tulu). Kokum fruit would be available during late spring/summer & kokum has cooling effects on the body. It is given to people having pitta dosha, as it is said to balance the pitta. We used to drink this as a soup. These days we get kokum syrup in Hebri & other places, that is used to prepare cool drink or a summer drink".

This saaru is prepared, relished from many decades(could that be centuries too!!, not sure) & I'm sure, this will also be prepared for many more generations/decades to come. The rasam is very very simple & can be prepared within minutes. Not many ingredients & this one tastes heaven. This one is a perfect example for "Less is More".


Dried Kokum/bhadpuli: 12-14
Water : 1 liter
Powdered Jaggery: 1.5-2 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Onion: 1 medium sized
Green Chilli: 2-3 (small ones, they are very very hot) or 4-6(normal ones)
Coconut Oil : 1 tsp
Curry Leaves: 1 strand
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp


  • Boil the water. When water is hot, add the dried kokum pieces to it. Let it boil for about 1 minute
  • Let the mixture soak for about 20-30mins.
  • Finely chop the green chillies & add the chillies to the same water & squeeze the juice of the kokum + green chillies.
  • Discard the squeezed kokum. Add salt, jaggery & mix well. No need to heat it again.
  • Finely chop the onion & add the raw onions to the rasam prepared.
  • Prepare the tempering. Add oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves & saute till the leaves color change. Pour this tempering to the rasam prepared.
  • Rasam is ready to be served.
  • Unlike conventional rasams, this rasam is not boiled & consumed warm or cold. It can be preserved for 3-4 days in fridge(Add onions & tempering only for the required quantity). This rasam tastes better the next day.

  • Curry leaves has tremendous health benefits. Finely chop the curry leaves & then add it to rasam or any vegetable. This way, we do not discard the curry leaves & consume them.

  • Adjust the sweetness in the rasam according to one's family needs.

  • Store bought kokum/punarpuli would be soaked in salt & then dried. Hence adjust the salt level accordingly.

  • If hands start burning after squeezing the green chillies, apply coconut oil on your palms.
I'm posting this on behalf of my mom-in-law. She is the owner of this recipe. Another version of punarpuli saaru could be found here
This rasam is also making its way to "RCI: Udupi & Mangalorean Cuisine" event hosted by Sia & started by Lakshmi


  1. Sounds new and Creative dear, Will have to try this:)

  2. wow! yummy! my all time fav!

  3. hey that is so informative abt this saaru will try it for sure.. looks lovely and yummy. wonderful color

  4. Hi sushma,

    thumba chennagide. illi singapore nalli kokum sigatta? mustafa nalli enu hesaru?


  5. Punarpuli reminds me of home. My mom makes this, ohh i just love this saaru.I do not get punarpuli here.

  6. slurrp! looks tempting kanri. Do we get dried kokum in Singapore?

  7. @All,
    Thanks a lot for your comments.

    @Anu & LG,
    sigutte kanri, I got Zyka Kokum last time. It would be there along with Jeera, Mustard, menthya & other spices. Check it out. This rasam is very good for kids too, as it helps to keep their minds balanced :)

  8. Nice rasam Sush. I did not know about these wonderful properties of kokum

  9. this is new to me but must be wonderful!

  10. we prepare in a similar way with tamarind instead of kokum...Next time I will try with kokum...looks so nice..

  11. hi Sushma,
    Hmmm...athe inda tumba nostalgia shareinga ;)so sweet!! we konkanis love kokam ...it's saar/rasam is mind blowing ri, I like ur recipe it's different from what Amma makes, shall try this one. \
    LOL nimma comment nodi nagu bantu...this rasam is good for kids too! it helps to keep their mind balanced :) that was really cute ...lol
    kokam syrup concentrate stock namma mneli idde iratte, Blore hodaga Udupi stores inda kokam can tartene :) now now u made me nostalgic too!
    Hugs to u and ur kiddo:)

  12. This is new and a cool way to have kokum. I just love them

  13. Lovely color...must be delicious..!
    tnx for sharing...

  14. Thank you Sushma for sending one of fav recipes from my childhood :) As a small child I relished this 'red' saaru and loved its sweet and sour taste:) we prepare it exactly like you except we don't add onions.

  15. Something very new for me....never knew abt this...looks very tempting though ...hope u r having gud time :)

  16. Sushma, that Punarpuli saaru reminded me of my home:) My mom used to make it almost every weekend and how I usd to love it:) are you also from Mangalore?

  17. @K,
    My in-laws are from Udupi. Thanks a lot for your lovely comments.

    Thanks a lot for all your comments.

  18. This is new to me, love the gorgeous vibrant color :)

  19. Completely a new one to me..looks splendid..would like to experiment..
    great blog ...
    first time here..hope to see more often.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. Hi, where to get kokam. ..

  23. @Nan,

    In Singapore, Kokum is available in Mustafa



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