Fox nuts are highly nutritious and make a wonderful low calorie snack. They are also known as Lotus seeds and Phool Makhana and come from an aquatic plant called Euryale Fox which grows in stagnant waters or ponds in Eastern Asia. In India, makhana is used in many religeous rituals including fasting meals. A variety of dishes are prepared with this versatile puffed seed.
Roasted makhana makes a healthy snack because it’s high in magnesium, iron, zinc and low in sodium content. It has a low glycimic index and is protein rich, high in carbohydrates, gluten free and naturally vegan.
Makhana kheer, gur makhana, masala makhana or spiced makhana are some of my favorite dishes made with fox Nuts. It is also used in curries, soups, raitas and vegetables. You can add them to homemade Granola and nuts & seeds trail mixes.
This pan roasted spiced makhana recipe is easy and doesn’t take much time. You’ll love it’s crunchy texture. The puffed seed has a neutral taste so it takes on the flavors of any combinations of spices.
You can roast a large batch of makhanas and add your favorite spices to a portion whenever you feel like munching on a light snack. You can also add it to your dahi poha like I do. They pair very well in breakfast cereals. So caramelize them and toss a few in your oats, parfaits etc.
Phool Makhana or puffed Fox Nuts – 100 gm
Red Chilli Powder – to taste
Black pepper powder – to taste
Pink Salt / sendha namak – to taste
Chaat masala – to taste (optional)
Turmeric- if desired a pinch
Ghee – 1 tsp
Dried mint – to taste (optional)
I have mentioned all the spice powders to taste because it all depends on your spice threshold. I prefer them mildly salted and spiced.
Heat a thick bottom pan on medium heat and add makhanas and roast them on low heat so that they brown evenly and not burn. Be patient with this.
Keep stirring constantly till they become crisp. To test, take one fox nut and press between your fingers, it should crumble.
Now take them out in a plate.
In a bowl mix all the spices.
Heat ghee in the same pan and add the spices and curry leaves if using. Stir well and add the roasted fox nuts. Mix well so that all the fox nuts get coated properly. Roast for another minute or two and then take them out in a bowl.
You can serve them warm or let them cool before serving.
Store them in an airtight container for later use.
I used some of it in my breakfast bowl of savory Dahi Chiwada or Dahi Poha ( Beaten rice flakes in home cultured curd)
You can add, remove the spices and make your own variations. Smbhar masala, curry powder, roasted cumin powder, peri peri powder, dried herbs, Italian seasoning all go well with it.
I used curry leaves and turmeric in one mix and black pepper, rack salt in another. Different spices give nice aromas and flavors to the fox nuts.
Fox nuts have a good shelf life so they can be stored in air tight containers for future use. I plain roast them and keep it ready to use as desired for both sweet and savory dishes.
You can make puffed rice snack in the same way and add coconut slivers, peanuts, roasted chiwda, cashews, roasted chana, roasted chana daal etc to make an even more healthier snack. Those wanting to lose weight must include makhana in their diet.
Hope you enjoy munching on these delicious spiced Fox Nuts. I will post the jaggery coated ones in a few days along with the parfait I make.
You can perhaps roast them in air fryer too or in the oven.
Till then eat smart and stay healthy.