HomeTHE LOTUS STEM SPECIAL RECIPES | Easy to adapt to, healthy; nutritious...

THE LOTUS STEM SPECIAL RECIPES | Easy to adapt to, healthy; nutritious lotus stem delights…

By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – Celebrity Master Chef.

As the name implies, is the root of the lotus flower and has a wide range of culinary uses and health benefits. This is mostly owing to its rich nutritional composition. Some benefits are considered to be improved digestion, boost the immune system, and balancing mood, and relieving depression.

The lotus stem is a long, woody object that attaches to the bottom of the pad and can stretch up to four feet. It can be washed, sliced, and then prepared. It has also been used in the natural or powdered form in traditional herbal medicine.

The boon of lotus root can be attributed to its unique mix of vitamins, minerals & and phytonutrients, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, and manganese, as well as thiamine, pantothenic acid, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

It is also a very significant source of dietary fiber and a decent source of protein as well. Lotus stem or root as it is also known as is also called Nadru in Kashmiri cuisine, kamal kakdi in Hindi & bhee or bhein popularly used in sindhi cooking. Though it is one ingredient which is great to work with it is able to pick up any flavor, taste and spice we may wish to add into it.

Some Culinary Uses of Lotus Stem- Kamal Kakdi:

  • Add it to clear soups in combination with green leafy veggies like spinach or kale, broccoli or asparagus, or even with assorted mushrooms, boiled chicken cubes, saute prawns and bell peppers.
  • Add it to your favorite salad bowl, boil it first and steep it for a while in your dressing and relish it for its satiety value and more in combination with prawns, chicken, sausages, in case of veg you can add it alongside tofu, tempeh, assorted garden veggies.
  • Add lotus stem to your list of daily veggies cook it up in a basic onion tomato masala in combination with peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even with curry cuts of chicken.
  • Add lotus stem to your varied lists of chaat, it is one which can be dressed with chutneys, boondi, Papdi, sev and even a lotus stem pakoda chaat tastes delicious with a topping of sweet curd and tamarind chutney, mint, coriander, chaat masala.
  • Add lotus stem to a pulao recipe using browned onions and a dash of spices, cook it in dum and enjoy a kamal kakdi ka pulao with assorted veggies like carrots, beans, cauliflower etc and serve it with a bowl of anar ka raita.
  • Add lotus stem to your favorite Chinese stir fry recipes or even cook it in a Manchurian or schezuan gravy and serve it with fried rice. A Chinese Chowmein or American chopsuey concept with noodles also tastes yummy with a few slices of boiled lotus stem.
  • Adding lotus stem to a Burmese Khow-Suey bowl or a thai curry with coconut milk and lemon grass is a good idea as well. I also like to add lotus stem into my Chinese pot rice recipes with a combination of water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby carrots and even snow peas at times.

Here are a few easy recipes to try using Lotus Stem or Kamal Kakdi:

Recipe-1] KAMAL KAKDI KI SUBZI

Ingredients

  • Lotus stem- 250 gms, cleaned, sliced and boiled.

For the marination:

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice- 2 tsp

For the masala :

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Ghee-2 tsp
  • Hing-1 pinch
  • Dry red chilies-1-2 slit
  • Bay leaf- 1-2 no
  • Pepper corns- 3-4 no
  • Onions- 1 cup chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
  • Green chilies-1 tsp chopped
  • Tomatoes-1 cup puree, fresh.
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Potatoes-1-2 med sized cubes- optional
  • Green peas- ½ cup- optional
  • Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. chopped

Method:

  1. Prepare the lotus stem slices and apply the marination and keep aside for 20 mins.
  2. Start with the masala, heat oil and ghee in a pan add in the dry red chili, hing, bay leaves, peppercorns, onions and brown them until light browned, add in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 min.
  3. Add in the fresh tomato puree, salt and all the powdered spices and kasuri methi and cook for 1-2 mins, add water as needed.
  4. Add in the boiled sliced lotus stem pieces and potatoes/ peas etc and bhunao for 1-2 mins and add little water and cook on a low flame for 20-25 mins or if using a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.
  5. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves, goes well with hot phulkas, chapattis, rotis with some fresh cut salad and bowl of curd.

Recipe-2] LAZEEZ NADRU KOFTA CURRY

Ingredients

For the kofta mixture:

  • Lotus stem- 250 gms, cleaned, sliced, boiled and mashed.
  • Boiled potatoes-2-3 med sized, boiled, peeled, mashed
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
  • Dried anar dana- 1 tsp
  • Cheese-2-3 tbsp. grated
  • Assorted nuts-2 tbsp. chopped
  • Ginger-garlic- green chili paste-1 tsp mix
  • Coriander and mint leaves- 2 tsp chopped
  • Bread crumbs-1/2 cup
  • Maida/cornflour-1/4 cup for binding and coating
  • Oil- to deep fry the koftas

For the gravy:

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Ghee-2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick-1-inch piece
  • Cloves- 3-4 no
  • Shahi jeera-1/2 tsp
  • Onion paste- 1 and a half cups
  • Ginger-garlic- chili paste-1 tsp mix
  • Thick curd- 1 cup beaten
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp,
  • Water-1/2 cup
  • Cashew paste- 2 tsp
  • Fresh cream- 2- 3 tbsp.
  • Saffron water-2 -3 tsp
  • Rose water- 2 tsp
  • Assorted nuts- 2-3 tsp for garnish
  • Fresh anar dana- 2-3 tsp for garnish

Method:

  1. Prepare the kofta mixture and adjust the binding using bread crumbs/maida/cornflour. We can also use oats and quinoa flour as well for binding as a variation.
  2. Shape the koftas into round lemon size balls, stuff them with a mixture of cheese and nuts and with a dry coating of maida/cornflour deep fry them until golden browned, remove, drain excess oil and keep aside.
  3. Prepare the kofta gravy, heat oil and ghee in a pan and add in the cloves, shahi jeera and cinnamon stick. Add in the onion paste and cook it well for 6-8 mins adding little water as needed. Now add in the ginger-garlic-chili paste and cook for 1 min.
  4. Next we add in the beaten curd with cashew paste and fresh cream on a low flame along with all spices and salt to taste. Adding a little water allowing the gravy to simmer for 10-12 mins.
  5. Finally add in the rose water, saffron mix, and allow them to mix in well, lastly add in the fried koftas just before serving, dish out the preparation and garnish with fresh anar seeds, mint, cream and serve with malai paratha/ laccha parathas/ missi roti, Pudina naan etc.

Recipe-3] STIR FRIED ASIAN STYLE LOTUS STEM

Ingredients:

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Butter-1 tsp
  • Garlic-1 tsp chopped
  • Ginger-1 tsp chopped
  • Green chilies-2 slit
  • Red chilies-2 slit
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spring onions-2-3 sliced
  • Lotus stem- 250 gms, cleaned, sliced and par boiled.
  • Assorted veggies of your choice-3/4 th cup
  • Shredded chicken/ prawns- 1 cup- optional
  • Maida/ cornflour- ¼ cup
  • Cornflour-water solution-2-3 tsp to thicken.
  • Water/stock-1/2 cup
  • Green /red/ yellow capsicum-1/2 cup shredded
  • Soy sauce-2 tsp
  • Red chili sauce-1 tsp
  • Schezuan sauce- 1 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup-1 tsp
  • Honey-1 tsp
  • Spring onion greens-2 tbsp. chopped
  • Roasted crushed peanuts- 2 tbsp.

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the Asian style lotus stem recipe.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine together maida/cornflour some salt and pepper and mix well. Coat the par boiled lotus stem slices with it and deep fry in hot oil for a couple of mins and remove, drain off excess oil.
  3. Heat oil and butter in a pan add in the spring onions, ginger, garlic and chilies and saute for 30 seconds. Add in the sauces, seasonings to taste and little water/stock and cook for 1-2 mins, add in a little cornflour-water solution to thicken the sauce a little.
  4. Now add in the shredded capsicums, I also like to add veggies like broccoli, zucchini, sliced carrots, water chestnuts in this recipe followed by the fried lotus stem pieces and give it a nice mix.
  5. Allow to cook for a couple of mins and then add in the spring onion greens and peanuts and serve hot as a snack or a side dish.

Recipe- 4] Bhein Palak ki subzi

Ingredients

  • Lotus stem- 250 gms, cleaned, sliced, boiled
  • Spinach- 1/2 bunch, cleaned, washed and roughly cut
  • Oil-1 tsp
  • Ghee-1 tsp
  • Jeera-1/2 tsp
  • Red chili-1-2 slit
  • Hing-1 pinch
  • Ginger-1 tsp chopped
  • Garlic-1 tsp chopped
  • Green chilies-1 tsp chopped
  • Onion-1 med size, chopped
  • Tomato-1 -2 med sized, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Potato- 1-2 small, cubed.
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
  • Water-1/2 cup
  • Kasuri methi-1 tsp

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the bhein palak recipe.
  2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan add in the hing, jeera, red chili, ginger, garlic and chilies and saute for a few seconds. Next add in the onions and lightly brown them, add little water as needed.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, salt and powdered spices, kasuri methi followed by the potato cubes and boiled lotus stem slices and bhunao or saute with the masala for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add in the roughly cut spinach leaves and give it a nice mix, simmer for 10-12 mins until the spinach blends in well with the lotus stem and potatoes in the masala. Some of us also use pressure cooker for the same recipe in that case 2-3 whistles.
  5. Serve this recipe hot with phulkas, dhakai paratha, mirch aur pudine wala paratha and a bowl of boondi raita to go along.

Recipe-5] THAI STYLE LOTUS STEM WITH CHICKEN.

Ingredients

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Lemon grass- 3-4 pieces’ cut
  • Fresh basil leaves- 4-5 no
  • Galangal or ginger-1 tsp sliced
  • Green chilies- 2-3 slit
  • Thai red chilies- 3 – 4 no
  • Thai curry paste- yellow/ green/ red- anyone can be used- 2 -3 tsp
  • Water-1-2 cups
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Coconut milk-1 and a half cup thick
  • Roasted crushed peanuts-2-3 tsp
  • Lotus stem-250 gms, cleaned, sliced, boiled.
  • Boneless chicken-1 cup sliced.
  • Red/green capsicums-1/2 cup diced.
  • Corn flour-water solution-2 -3 tsp to thicken
  • Fresh basil to garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan add in the lemon grass, ginger or thai galangal, basil leaves and curry paste of your choice and little water to prevent
    burning.
  2. Add in the chicken pieces and lotus stem slices and saute for-1-2 mins and then add in some water just to cover the chicken pieces and reduce the flame, cook for 8-10 mins, prefer medium gravy in this one.
  3. Add in the capsicum cubes, coconut milk and mix it well, simmer for 3-4 mins more and add cornflour to thicken a little.
  4. Serve this thai style lotus stem with chicken garnished with peanuts and fresh basil leaves and serve along with some jasmine rice or steam white rice. We can also add assorted veggies in the same recipe for the vegetarians.
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