5 Best Lotus Stem Recipes That You Need To Try

Did you know that all parts of a lotus plant are edible? Let’s start with the lotus stem.
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Nadru, bhein or kamal kakdi is the Indian name of lotus stem that is widely used for cooking in Sindhi, Kashmiri and Punjabi cuisine. It is an under rated vegetable maybe because of the distinct flavour or the time consumed in cleaning and cooking. However, it can be cooked in different ways and one should include it in their menu. Lotus stems have a crunchy and buttery texture with a stiff exterior and several tube-like canals within. They should be washed, peeled, chopped and again washed to remove all the sand and soil lodged in the crevices. The stems are a rich source of Vitamin C and provide dietary fibre that helps in digestion.

Nadru kofta

Ingredients:

2 lotus stems, boiled

2 potatoes, boiled

2 tablespoons methi powder

Salt

1 teaspoon corn flour

Vegetable oil for frying

1 teaspoon ginger paste

¾ cup tomato puree

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon jeera powder

2 tablespoons curd

Method:

Combine lotus stems and potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash them properly. Add methi powder, salt to taste and corn flour. Mix well to make a dough. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Take lime sized portions of the dough and shape them into round koftas. Drop the koftas in the oil and deep fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in another pan over medium heat. Add ginger paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spice powders and salt to taste. Mix and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add curd and fried koftas and let the gravy simmer for 3-4 minutes over low heat. Serve nadru kofta warm with roti or naan.

Note: While washing the lotus stem, add a pinch of salt and cooking soda to make it softer & smoother.

Kurkuri kamal kakdi

Ingredients:

2 thin lotus stems

1 teaspoon black salt

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon amchur powder

2 tablespoons corn flour

¼ cup gram flour

1 teaspoon chaat masala

Salt

Oil for frying

Method:

Clean and peel the lotus stems. Slice them horizontally into thin slices. Soak them in water for 5 minutes. Drain the excess water and place them on a kitchen towel. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients except chaat masala; toss it well. Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the lotus stem slices until crisp and golden. Drain excess oil on absorbent paper napkins. Sprinkle chaat masala and serve as an accompaniment to cocktails.

Lotus stem pickle

Ingredients:

1 lotus stem

1 cup mustard oil

¼ teaspoon asafoetida

1 tablespoon red chilli powder

Salt

½ cup mustard seeds, coarsely ground

¼ cup fennel seeds, coarsely ground

¼ cup vinegar

Method:

Clean and peel the lotus stems. Slice them horizontally into thin slices. Blanch them in boiling water and drain the excess water. Heat mustard oil till it is smoky. Reduce the heat and add sliced lotus stem, asafoetida, red chilli powder, salt to taste, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Mix well and let the mixture cook for 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar and mix well. Store the pickle in an airtight container once it cools down to room temparature.

Lotus stem chaat

Ingredients:

1 lotus stem

1 teaspoon rock salt

1 teaspoon amchur powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

½ cup mint coriander chutney

½ cup dates tamarind chutney

Method:

Clean and peel the lotus stems. Slice them horizontally into 1-inch cubes. Pressure cook them until they are soft. This may take long so add sufficient amount of water in the pressure cooker. Place the boiled lotus stem cubes in a plate. Sprinkle rock salt, amchur powder and red chilli powder. Drizzle both the chutneys and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Bhein aloo ki subzi

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1-inch ginger, chopped

1 green chilli, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

Salt

1 lotus stem, sliced and boiled

2 potatoes, diced

Method:

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add ginger and green chilli and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy. Add all the spice powders and salt to taste. Mix well and cook until oil starts separating from the mixture. Add the lotus stem and potatoes. Add water just enough to cover the vegetables. Mix well and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Serve the bhein aloo sabzi with steamed rice.

Dr. Deepali Kampani is a digital content specialist who weaves health and food through her pen.

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