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

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