Lotus Seeds with Spinach | Palak Makhana

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
Cuisine: Indian
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


About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 08 Late Winter, Indian, Spices and Herbs, Spinach, Vegan, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Lotus Seeds with Spinach | Palak Makhana

  1. bee says:

    try boiling them and adding them to salads. nice crunch.

    what a great idea! I guess that they cook fairly quickly…. I will try this soon.


  2. notyet100 says:

    i have makhana kheer in my blog,.never knew they were known as lotus seeds too,..i usually eat them during fast,,either we prepare kheer or stir fry with rock salt nd pepper,,,nd ya we prepare curry with cottage cheese too,..ur recipe is nice will try some day thns fr sharin,..:-)hppy bloggin,..

    I have added it to the list. I wonder why they are eaten during a fast? Do you know? I like the idea of having salt and pepper makhana! Nice. Thanks notyet100.


  3. Meera says:

    I’ve had makhanas only in dal makhani in india and loved the taste. I have not seen them here..but will try to find them in an indian grocery store. Love your palak makhana :-)

    It sounds very nice! I hope that you manage to find them locally.


  4. arundathi says:

    we usually just stir fry it too with simple spices or none at all. its so great!

    I am going to try this as well. They really are versatile. Thanks arundathi.


  5. sangeeth says:

    very different makhna indeed…liked it…

    Thanks, sangeeth.


  6. Rajani says:

    yay!found another makhana lover – and 2,3, still counting. One of my lucknowi pal also roasts and salts makhana and they make a grrrreat snack- especially in the winters.

    I am going to try the roasting with salt, it sounds wonderful. Glad you found some more makhana loving friends, Rajani.


  7. rj says:

    We eat makhana like chips, they taste great. Add 1 tbsp ghee, salt and pepper – microwave for 1min or 2min. They taste great. My son(2 yr old) loves them too, calls them chips.

    What a great way to eat them. I will be trying this with the rest of the packet. THanks, rj.


  8. Medhaa says:

    hi we just cook it with potatoes and paneer. This is a great Idea. Will try soon. Thanks for sharing

    Hi Medhaa – you cook potato with spinach gravy? Oh that would be wonderful too.


  9. Cinnamon says:

    Palak Makana looks yummy… I tried once but it was a disaster… will try your version for sure…. It must be tasting great with rotis :-)

    Oh, a disaster? I wonder what went wrong. Try this one, Cinnamon, you will love it.


  10. nice new combination.. always ate pakal with paneer , but pakal with makhana is truely a new delight.. thanks!!

    Me too! Trying this was quite novel. Thanks for leaving a comment, Jaspreet.


  11. Vaishali says:

    How wonderful. I’ve got a bag of makhana that I bought from the Indian grocery store a while back but never got around to using them. This sounds like a great recipe to start. Thanks!

    Great! Let me know what you cook and how it goes, Vaishali.


  12. Jude says:

    Very nice info and recipe for an unusual ingredient. I love reading about things I’ve never tried before.

    Thanks, Jude. Me too.


  13. This is new and intriguing. I’ve seen lotus seeds but I’ve never seen them puffed before! The spinach gravy looks delicious!

    It is so intriguing! Don’t they look weird – so amazing.


  14. Srivalli says:

    yeah when I saw this in rajani’s blog, loved the pictures and you are tempting again!…I have never seen lotus seeds..should try getting them!

    I found them here, so I will guess that you will be able to find them. They are so very unusual looking. Hope you can locate them and try some of the recipes.


  15. romaspace says:

    I remember seeing this recipe from Rajani. Its really innovative. Yours looks great too!

    Thanks, romaspace. I appreciate that you let me know. It is SO green, quite beautiful really. I loved making it.


  16. Aparna says:

    I have half a bag of these on my kitchen shelf and I’ve suddenly found many ways to cook them. Thanks. :)

    Glad to have been of service. Isn’t it amazing how many different ways you can use Lotus Seeds?


  17. Mallika says:

    My mm used to dry roast these like popcorn and then add in some butter. Yum. Thanks for reminding me of these!

    I have tried this! With some salt – so wondrful.


  18. Kacie says:

    Wow. I’ve seen these at the store a million times and never had any idea what they were. Now I have this wonderful recipe and all these suggestions for them. Thanks!

    Now you know! Hope you fall in love with them like I have, Kacie.


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  21. dr richa says:

    my daughter loves makhana like anything.I first discovered it in supermarket at nagpur.Once i usedmakhana like fried bread piecies on palak soup.try it.
    toast phool makhana on ghee in a pan,add little pepper powder and salt.Then add to palak soup bowl and serve hot.


  22. Pamela Timms says:

    I had no idea what makahana was until I came across it in Old Delhi the other day – a friend later fried it in ghee and sprinkled with salt – instant ‘Indian Popcorn’ – delicious!


  23. I had no idea that Lotus seed was used in cooking. I t thought it is eaten like popcorn. I shall try this recipe next time.


  24. Rita Chatterji says:

    My son loves palak dishes coz he thinks he can fling any Bluto like Popoye and yes he loves makhana too so he would be double thrilled with this dish.I will definitely make it on his 5th B’day coming soon.


  25. 中国朋友 says:

    I can teach you specifically how to do it puffed lotus seed?
    I can reply to e-mail?


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  27. Pingback: health benefits of lotus seeds | Max Health

  28. pankaj kumar says:

    makhana kheer is very useful for health.


  29. wr shall i buy this lotous seeds…. pls sugest;;


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