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THE LOVABLE LOTUS STEM; Easy to adapt to, healthy & nutritious lotus stem delights

LifestyleTHE LOVABLE LOTUS STEM; Easy to adapt to, healthy & nutritious lotus stem delights

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, phosphoruscopperiron, and manganese, as well as thiamine, pantothenic acidzincvitamin 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-3/4th 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.

BRIEF ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. KAVIRAJ KHIALANI – CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF IS A MUMBAI-BASED FOOD & HOSPITALITY CONSULTANT. HE HAS WORKED WITH ESTEEMED BRANDS LIKE THE TAJ GROUP OF HOTELS, KUWAIT AIRWAYS AND MANY MORE. BESIDES HAVING SPECIALISED IN OVER 33 PLUS INTERNATIONAL CUISINES CHEF KAVIRAJ IS A RENOWNED NAME IN THE WORLD OF HOSPITALITY EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT. HE HAS ALSO BEEN FEATURED ON STAR PLUS & COLORS TELEVISION. AN AWARDEE OF THE BHARAT VIDYA RATAN AWARD, BEST CHEF ASIA AWARD AND MANY MORE ACCOLADES MAKE HIM ONE OF THE ICONIC NAMES IN THE CULINARY WORLD.

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