Black kokum is native to south India in cuisines of Gujarat Maharashrta and other southern states. It is commonly used during the scorching summer heat. Kokums are known to counteract the heat. The deeper the color, the better the kokum. It has a slightly sweet and sour aroma and imparts a refreshing sour taste, similar to tamarind, and also slightly astringent. Use kokums to enhance coconut-based curries, especially fish curries or vegetable dishes such as potatoes, okra or lentils. For an average dish, three or four kokum skins would be enough for seasoning. Kokums are also used for chutneys and pickles.