Garcinia indica, the kokum fruit, is small and green when unripe but matures into a deep purple fruit when it’s ready to harvest. The thick outer rind is very rich in HCA, giving it a tart, tangy flavor. Kokum generally refers to the dried form of garcinia indica fruit. When thoroughly dried, kokum lasts for a long time and can be used in a number of different ways.
It has been used in the historic practice of Ayurvedic medicine, and considered to increase and prolong human life.
The ripened kokum fruit has a sweet/sour taste with a wonderfully agreeable flavor.
Often dried to flavor certain foods, it has amazing properties that go well beyond the normal culinary experience.The active ingredient found in the miraculous garcinia indica extract hydroxycitric acid, HCA. HCA has been linked with appetite suppression, supposedly from increased release or availability of serotonin in the brain.
The berry is also rich in the life-enhancing antioxidant Xanthone, which is proven to battle depression, kill bacteria, and fight free radicals.
The fruit has an agreeable flavour and a sweet acidic taste. Kokum has been traditionally used as an acidulant. It is used in the Konkan region of Maharashtra state, India chiefly in the form of kokum as a garnish to give an acidic flavour to curries.
It is also used in preparing cooling syrups, which are bright red in color, to improve digestion, and cool the body during summers.