When I first read about Lotus Seeds some time ago I was intrigued. Lotus are sacred to many cultures (see some beautiful photos here). So using the seeds as food certainly was very interesting.
Some time later I came across the seeds in the local Indian Grocery Shop, and they sat on my kitchen bench for weeks until Vegetarian in Me posted a Palak (spinach based dish) using Makhana (Puffed Lotus Seeds). It looks amazing, and on the weekend, this green wonderfood dish was born in my kitchen.
It is quite an interesting dish. I would say that the phool makhana add texture to the dish but not a lot of individual taste – similar to the way that paneer adds texture but little taste to Palak Paneer.
The lotus seed is sacred to Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, and brings material and spiritual abundance. It calms the mind and subdues restless thoughts and dreams. Lotus seeds help open the heart chakra and are good for devotion and aspiration. They also improve speech, help stop stuttering and improve concentration.
Lotus seeds benefit the spleen, kidney, and heart. The seed also has calming properties that alleviate restlessness, palpitations, and insomnia. It is also rich in calcium. The puffed lotus seed has the bitter centre core removed and the outer membrane, and is puffed, just as popcorn is puffed.
Palak Makhana – Puffed Lotus Seeds in Spinach Gravy
Source : by Vegetarian In Me
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
This is how I cooked the recipe from Vegetarian In Me. Check this site for the original.
1 bunch spinach
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup Phool Makhana
1 tspn Cumin
1 tspn Garam Masala
0.5 tspn chilli powder
1 Cinnamon stick
0.5 tspn Turmeric
0.25 cup Milk
1 Tblspn Ghee
Salt to taste
Roughly chop the spinach and rinse it carefully in a bowl of water. Place into a saucepan with the tumeric. The water left on the spinach will be sufficient for cooking it. Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted and almost cooked. Using the immersion blender, blend until semi smooth.
In a pan, toast the phool makhana in a pan with a little ghee until lightly brown (you can toast them in a dry pan if you prefer). Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan with the remaining ghee, toast the cumin until brown. Add the onions and cook until transparent.
Add the tomatoes and cook until they lose most of their liquid. Then add the spices – the turmeric, garam masala, Cinnamon stick, chilli powder and salt to taste – and the water. Mix and allow to simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
Add the spinach and the milk and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the toasted Phool Makhana to the spinach gravy. Bring to the boil, simmer for a moment, remove from heat and serve.
Selection from the Indian Series
- Mint Paneer
- Narasihman’s Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry
- Play Nice with Rice – Cooking Rice
- Pomegranate and Banana Salad
- Porridge – Indian Style
- Rosa Matta Rice
- Sambar Powder
- Steamy Buttery Rice
- The 4 C’s Golden Spiced Saffron Tea
- Thick Thick Yoghurt – how to make