Updated: Jun 16
Makhana – Lotus seeds are a very popular snack in India, and I am ashamed to admit that I have never liked them. Could be because I don’t know to make them properly and you will laugh if I tell you how easy it is to roast them and munch on them all day. My sister-in-law who is a wonderful cook kept getting bowls of roasted Makhana for us to nibble on when we recently visited her.
I had to ask her a few times to hide the bowl away from me because they were seriously addictive. All she did was lightly roast them in Ghee and then add Rocksalt at the end and store them in airtight containers. So, seeing my newfound love for Lotus Seeds she decided to also treat me to a decadent curry made with them.
While the gravy has your standard Onion & Tomato base, it is the addition of ‘Khoya’ or Milk solids that makes it the luscious curry that it is. You can substitute the Khoya with Cashewnut paste should you wish to make a vegan version of it. Serve it hot with rotis drizzled with Ghee and you will surely be licking your fingers.
Recipe – Serves 6
· 1 cup makhana (lotus seeds or fox nuts)
· 1 cup green peas – fresh or frozen
· ¾ cup crumbled Khoya or Cashew paste
· 1 large onion finely chopped
· 3 tomatoes, blanched in hot water and pureed
· 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
· 1 tsp ginger paste
· 1 tsp garlic paste
Spice powders and fats:
· 1 tsp turmeric powder
· 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
· Salt to taste
· 2 tsp coriander powder
· 1 tsp cumin powder
· 2 tbsp Ghee or vegetable oil
· 1 tbsp Fresh Cream or cashew cream
· Freshly chopped coriander
· 1 tsp Garam masala
1) Add 1 tbsp Ghee to a thick bottomed pan and once hot, reduce the flame and gently roast the Lotus seeds ensuring they don’t burn. Keep them aside.
2) Steam the Peas for 5 minutes or microwave them for 2 minutes till done but not overly mushy.
3) In the same pan add the remaining ghee and finely chopped onions & ginger & garlic pastes and cook till translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook till the ghee starts to separate from the side. Cool this mixture and grind it to a puree.
4) Add the mixture back to the pan and heat, add all the spice powders, and mix well till the raw smell has evaporated. Now add the Khoya and mix well, cook till you start to see some fat separating on the side.
5) Add 1 ½ cup of hot water and bring to a boil.
6) Add the peas and the lotus seeds and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
7) Turn down the heat and garnish with cream, coriander leaves, and garam masala.
Do not overcook the lotus seeds or they will become too soggy. You cannot refrigerate or freeze this dish due to the milk solids. Some also like to add Methi (Fenugreek) leaves to this dish since it is equally delicious