Happy birthday to us! Well we have turned 1, and that is one mean achievement. Why you ask? Well, ask my husband, because he has been at the receiving end of it all!
Nevertheless, I am not going to bore you with the OH MY GOD it is so not easy to run a blog and how you have to make sure you keep your spirits high cry story; instead, I am going to thank you all for reading the blog and hopefully trying out the recipes.
It’s been a fabulous year actually. Fun holidays, lots of food and all in all not a bad year (save the ‘what the hell am I doing in life’ sessions post 2 glasses of wine!). Like most of my posts, this one has a story too, my story, I promise to keep it brief though. So here goes…
I was born, then I studied for a long time, got my degrees, did my parents proud, then took up a job in advertising, then became a cook and helped a couple of friends run a café and comic bookstore in Mumbai, moved to Auroville, had my own café, couldn’t sustain (because lack of funds, and my dad refused to finance me (eye roll). Come on I am the only child!), came back to Mumbai, and now I am a food stylist, cook and food writer. Food writer, well, because I was born to be one. Took me 32 years to figure that out, but better late than never right? So well, here I am. See, I told you I’d keep it brief and not bore you. In case you want to know more about me, you could always write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to oblige if I don’t find you too intruding.
Alright, enough about that. Given that we are a year old, it calls for a toast, don’t you think? And given my love for playing with flavours, how could I ever keep it boring. So, a toast with a twist. A drink that pretty much defines all that this year was and packs a punch, a solkadi margarita! Never heard of one? Well, now you have!
So solkadi is a non-alcoholic cooling drink that is very famous in the coastal regions of Maharashtra. Made with kokum and coconut milk, it is considered to be a digestive and usually had at the end of a rather filling meal. But there’s no norm that says you can’t have it as a cocktail, so here it is! The proportions I am giving you is for 2 glasses of margarita.
For the solkadi
Coconut milk – 100 ml
Kokum – 3 pods (fresh or dried)
Green chillies – 2 nos
Garlic – 2 pods
Ginger – 1 tbsp (grated)
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Water – 100 ml
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 tbsp
For the cocktail
Vodka – 90 ml
For the solkadi
- Keep the aromatics ready first. Slit the green chillies, grate the garlic and ginger (this bit get your kids to do).
- Now if you are using freshly extracted coconut milk, use the second extract (200ml), no water required here. If you are as lazy as me, and use packaged coconut milk, take 100ml of the coconut milk and add 100 to 120ml of water to it and mix well. Again, make your kids do this.
- Boil the kokum in about 1/2 a cup of water for about 15 minutes. Let it cool. And then crush the kokum with the water it was boiled in and strain it.
- Now mix the coconut milk, kokum water, aromatics (also includes the slit green chillies), cumin, salt and sugar, and mix really well. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
Bringing together the cocktail
- Take the solkadi out of the fridge, give it one last stir and strain it. The aromatics and spices will have done their job by now.
- Now all of us don’t have cocktail shakers at home, so use a blender. Add the vodka, 4 cubes of ice and the strained solkadi and blend for about 30 seconds. If you are one of the lucky few who have shakers, add the vodka, ice and then the solkadi, cover it and shake it like there is no tomorrow.
- Strain the ice out.
- Not prepping the glass, take a margarita glass, dip the rim of the glass in lime cordial, let it drip, and then coat them on a bed of salt, pour the strained mixture into the glass, garnish with a slit green chilli and raise a toast!
- It’s really okay to cheat at times, making coconut milk at home is a task (and I’m not willing to work that hard), so using packaged coconut milk is just fine. Just make sure you add water to it and mix it well to make a thin coconut extract. If it is very thick, it will split when you add the vodka.
- Even if not overnight, make sure the solkadi has at least rested in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Reason being, the flavours will be infused, also, if you add vodka to the mixture at room temperature, again, it might split. You don’t want that.
- If you don’t have lime cordial, just boil 1 cup of water with 2tbsp sugar and 1tbsp lime juice. Usually, the rim is coated only with lime juice, but when you have this concoction on the rim, it adds a beautiful flavour with each sip.
- Don’t ever pour the hot kokum water into the coconut milk, again, split alert.
- To make this for kids, instead of vodka, use Irish syrup. If you are using Irish syrup, use only 1tsp of sugar when making the solkadi. The rest can be as is. Irish syrup has a certain amount of sweetness, so make sure it doesn’t get sickly sweet.
- And the most important tip ever, taste, taste, taste, at every stage.
So well, let’s raise our fancy glasses to a toast and looking forward to a lot more new, innovative and easy recipes. Oh, the next post will be about my holiday to Alibaug, where we made a couple of fabulous barbecues and had a ball. So, stay tuned. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. The coming year is going to full of even more surprises and many, many more mouth -watering and amazing recipes.