Food blogging tempts you to pick up new ingredients – all the time. We keep reading so many blogs and various recipes that sometimes some ingredients just sit in the head. Makhana or lotus seeds was one of them. It all started when I saw the picture of the roasted makhana in a group. My interest was immediately piqued. Reading through the discussions, I figured out the ingredient and set searching it in the aisle at the hypermarket close by. I was glad to find it without much difficulty. Half the pack got roasted with a little chilli powder and it disappeared. It felt like we were having a healthier version of the popcorn! Makhana is supposed to be a power house of iron, magnesia, potassium and a lot more minerals and hence is one of the best snacks that could be taken especially for weight loss. InShaAllah, will roast them again and share them on the blog sometime in the future. One part went into making kheer which didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked it, but one thing that turned out really well was this delicious curry.
I got this recipe from somebody who posted it in a group, in the same discussion I talked about in the beginning. My family loves mild curries, so I was kind of sure that it would be taken positively. This “malai” (creamy) style curry gets its richness from the cashew nuts, cream and yogurt. Another very interesting pointer of this recipe is that very minimal spices are used. The crackling of the cardamom in the beginning gives this gravy an awesome feel in the mouth. We moped it up with some store bought naans, and they were amazing. Initially, HD was skeptical on seeing a white curry with unknown round stuff inside, but once he started having it, he couldn’t stop commenting about it. Coming from him, a man of limited words, I am glad he loved it! You may serve the gravy immediately after cooking, as is usually done, since makhana tends to get soggy. But we loved it more as the gravy rested and the makhana soaked up the sauce, in the process becoming soft.
If you get your hand on a pack of makhana, do try this gravy… I am sure you would love it just like how much we loved it too! Off to the recipe…
Matar Makhana Malai ~ Creamy Lotus Seeds Peas Curry
- FOR GRINDING:
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch pc ginger
- 4 green chillies
- 10 cashew nuts
- 2 heaped tbsp yogurt or cream
- FOR GRAVY:
- 2 cups makhana lotus seeds
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom bruised
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp cream
- Salt to taste
- 1 heaped tbsp kasuri methi
- Grind the ingredients under "for grinding" into a smooth paste.
- In a pan, dry roast the makhana till crisp. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat ghee. Fry the cumin and cardamom briefly.
- Add in the ground paste and saute till oil appears on the top.
- Add in the frozen peas, roasted makhana, milk and cream and whisk well. Add 1/2 cup of water if you need more gravy. Add salt.
- Simmer for a couple of minutes. Crush in the kasuri methi and mix well. Switch off and serve with rice or roti!