Not everyone is aware that Phool Makhana, also known as Foxnut, is not a nut but the seed of a variety of water lilies that grows abundantly in the country's eastern regions. It is widely consumed in Bihar in a variety of forms, ranging from parathas to a simple trail-mix-like snack.
This humble seed has many benefits according to Ayurveda. It is beneficial to cardiovascular health, promotes postpartum healing, and is a good source of healthy carbohydrates. Makhana, which is high in proteins and minerals, is a filling and easy-to-digest snack.
Here are 4 delicious ways that you can incorporate Makhana in your everyday diet:
Oats are the universal choice when it comes to breakfast cereal, but you can also make yourself a dry Makhana mix and keep ready for the week and soak small quantities like you would for an overnight oats' porridge.
• Dry roast some Makhana in an oven or in a kadhai. Crush roughly using a mortar and pestle (or simply fill them in a cloth bag and mash them with a rolling pin).
• Mix with your choice of nuts, dried fruit, or seeds, flavouring such as cinnamon/cardamom powder or vanilla powder, or even cocoa, and store in an airtight box.
• Fill a jar halfway with the Makhana mix, add milk of choice, and store overnight in the refrigerator
• In the morning, add fresh fruit or sweeteners as you like, and enjoy a truly great breakfast!
Ground Makhanas can serve as excellent gluten-free options for breads. It has an underrated taste and acts as a nutritious meal.
• Roast and grind the Makhana to a powder and store for a few weeks in a cool and dry place.
• Add the dried powder to mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes (they help in binding the dough) and add seasoning of choice
• Roll out the mixture between sheets of cling film or on a heavily flour-dusted workspace into circles and cook on a tawa like you would do for any other paratha.
• Serve hot with pickles or yogurt for taste
Phool Makhana lends itself very well to standard curry recipes. It's crunchy, airy texture absorbs the flavours of the curry and makes the seed itself soft, and comfortingly delicious.
• Make the base of the curry as you would for your preferred vegetable or meat curry of choice and add the Makhanas as it simmers.
• Cook for barely three to four minutes and serve immediately.
Have you run out of Boondi and are not in the mood for vegetables? Makhana Raita is the unexpected dish that is going to have you change your raita preferences for life. Diet-friendly, tasty, and unique, this is sure to become a staple side dish to all your meals.
• Add roasted Makhanas into whisked yogurt.
• Flavour the mix with roasted cumin seed powder and red chilli powder
• Add minced onions, tomatoes and coriander for garnish, and feast!