Makhanas are the seeds of plant from lily family. Many people call them Lotus seeds. These are used in many dishes including curries, soups, puddings, snacks etc. Makhanas are rich source of carbohydrates, protein, and calcium.
Indian cuisine has a rich history and tradition specific to every region. In Bihar, Rajasthan ,Uttarpradesh, Makhana Kheer or Lotus Seed Pudding is a popular dessert during festivals. It is rich creamy in texture and full of dry fruits. In many homes like ours, we combine it with spicy black chic peas dry dish called Chana Ghughri and fried Indian Bread called Poori. A perfect blend of spice and sweet. One can always condiment like raita (beaten Yogurt with cucumber or other fruits / veggies ) along with it.
Here are my recipes for a perfect healthy lunch of Makhane ki Kheer, Black Chana Ghughri and Poori.
Makhane ki Kheer :
Phool Makhana (Puffed Lotus Seeds) – 1 bowl (Pick. only light and nicely puffed ones)
Milk (Full Cream) – One litre
Sugar - ½ cup (according to taste)
Dry Fruits – pistachio, almonds, raisins etc)
Green cardamom – 2 powered
Saffron – few thread
Pound and roast Makhana in one tablespoon of pure ghee till slightly golden.
Soak raisins, blanch almonds, peel and shred them. Shred Pistachio.
Keep both things aside.
Slightly heat saffron thread in a spoon and put them in two tablespoon of hot milk. Let them soak.
In a heavy bottom pan, boil milk and add Makhana seeds.
Let it simmer on low flame till the milk thickens a bit.
Remove from heat and let Makhanas absorb and swell up more.
I add sugar at later stage. Adding sugar first doesn’t allow makhanas to swell.
Leave it for 15-20 minutes.
Put it back on low flame and let it simmer again for some time.
Add sugar and cardamom powder.
Once the milk has reached a nice flowing yet thick consistency, remove from heat and let it cool at room temperature.
Add, saffron milk, stir.
Pour the kheer in a serving dish , add dry fruits and decorate with few more strands of saffron and dry fruits.
Serve hot or cold.
Black Chana or Black chic peas are very nutritious and have lot of heath benefits. It is full of Protein, Iron, Vitamin A and C, dietary fibers etc. Boiled black chana soup is considered very healthy. It also has a low glycemic index.
Dry Black chana ghughri is part of most of the festival spreads across India. Carom seeds add a distinct flavor to it and make it easy to digest too.
For Black Chana Ghughri (dry) (without onion) Pressure cook black chic peas with salt and pinch of carom seeds (Ajwain) after it is soaked overnight till they became soft.
In a heavy bottom pan put two table-spoon of ghee and put it on high flame.
Once the ghee (clarified butter) is hot, reduce the flame and add cumin seeds, and asafoetida and few fresh curry leaves.
Add the boiled chana and stir along coriander seed power, red chilli powder and dry mango powder.
All ingredients are according to taste.
Slowly add the water content of boiled chana and cook till it dry.
Remove from flame and take it out in serving dish.
Add chopped fresh coriander leaves and lime before serving.
For puri (deep-fried Indian bread)
Take wheat flour and sieve a little salt in it. Add a pinch of carom seeds and make tight dough.
Cover it with moist muslin cloth.
Make small balls and roll them in round shape with a rolling-pin. Keep them covered with moist cloth.
Take a heavy bottom woke and heat cooking oil in it. Keep it on full flame then reduce the heat. To test if the oil is ready for frying, drop a small bit of dough in it. It should spring up to the top.
Add one or two puri in it and deep fry them from both sides till golden brown.
Take them out on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serve the hot puris with kheer and chana ghughri* for a perfect lunch.
Once all the dishes are ready it is time for presentation. Serve small quantity of each dish , place some sliced onions and lemon quarters in a plate and serve.