Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mumma's Spiced Makhana

Spiced Makhana 2

I still remember the Steel Dabba full of Spiced Makhanas in Navratri days when it used to be our tea time snack in fasting week. On first day mostly, mumma would make this just before the evening and whole house would smell of goodness of ghee and with just handful spices my goddess would cook up some amazing snack to munch on while fasting.. oops.. we are supposed to be fasting.. Okay in those fasts we are allowed anything we can categorize as fruit based and Makhana is indeed fruit based yes!

Basically Makhana is a lotus seed or often called as eurayle or onibasu. It grows in wetlands like thy way lotus grows and the seeds are roasted more or less like popcorn. I have personally not yet seen the seeds as such but I know Makhana is amazing... How thee caught my attention is a little story...

When I was in junior school, in class 4, on 45th Republic day, the school had organized a parade near the school area where a group of band with many many musical instruments would be played by us students march passing near the whole locality of the school. I was playing Flute yey! After that school served us Aloo Poori and halwa tp everyone of us. It was a memorable day not only because I played flute! not the it was any less that an achievement for me playing baba black sheep and "saare jahaan se achcha" on bansuri! But especially because of 3 reasons.. First of all was that, we all ate on Taat Patti(long strips of jute/taat)  on which in those time we used in our morning assembly so that we can pray in Sanskrit and do Yoga. Secondly, our teachers served us the food very lovingly on Pattal(Plates made of dry leaves). Third and most importantly, when it was my class's turn to eat, aloo sabzi got over and my class was served with this amazing Makhana Sabzi, the taste of which I can never forget. This was my love at first taste with Makhana!

Coming back to Mumma's Spiced Makhana.. This one came to my mind in this year's navratri when I finally found a stock of Makhana in Mustafa Centre in Singapore. Finally! I quickly grabbed this highly overpriced pack of makhana and cooked it the very next day and since then its a staple in my house with K gulping half of the stock in just 5 minutes. Mumma shallow fries these in a lot of ghee but I have tweaked it a but to suit my cooking style by using less ghee but it still tastes almost same..(can't taste same because only mumma's cooked makhanas can taste like mumma's cooked makhana... ) 

Its so easy to cook that you can cook it while you are watching your 30 minutes TV series without missing a scene. Here is how :

Ingredients : 

250 gms raw Makhana
a pinch of asetofida
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tsp Dry Mango Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1 tsp Chaat Masala
2 Tbsp Ghee (to make it vegan you can replace Ghee with Coconut butter or any flavor vegan butter you like because flavor is what makes this one stand out!)

Spiced Makhana 1

Procedure : 

Heat a wok or a pan on low heat which can contain this much Makhanas, 250 gms sounds less but makhanas are like popcorns so they take more space. Add Ghee and let it heat up a little. Add Asetofida and makhana and immediately start tossing vigorously otherwise the bottom ones will soak up the ghee and top ones will remain dry. This will might result in you chasing makhanas everywhere on your kitchen counter just the way it happens with me.. or is it only me? :O 

Now just let it sit like this and go watch your TV series. In break one which might come after around 10 minutes, toss it again and now add the rest of everything... the seasoning and check if the heat is too high .. then lowers it a bit.. if heat is too high, the bottom ones will burn.. we want to crisp them up..  go back break might be over by now... in next commercial break come back and toss it again now go back and finish the 30  min series.... by now the makhanas would be crispy and awesome... do the texture test and pop one in mouth.. it wont be too hot.. if its it crunchy... its done.. now fill it up in a popcorn bowl and munch on it in next TV Series or movie...if not done, it would be done in another 5-10 min....  then you can fill it up... :)

P.S. : I think this can be done in Oven on 180 Degree but I am yet to try this... I will try is for next batch which might be in Jan'14 end.  If you happen to try it before me.... please leave a comment telling how it was .. so that I can can learn from you.. Till then.. have a Merry Merry Christmas and a happy happy new year! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Upasana, your photos above have incredibly vibrant colors. I love the focus on the beans and then how the focus dissipates. I would recommend making the photos larger and trying a vertical framing, as that draws the eye in and down your image. You could fill some of the negative space with sprinklings of the spices that appear in the lotus seeds. I also like how you have styled the in a cone, but I would reommend using the same background as the first photo so things appear more cohesive. How would you enjoy these? As a snack with beer or wine? Consider adding in other elements to set the scene. Also, what is the cultural background of this snack? Consider adding some elements that show off the culture, such as textiles or serving implements. Overall, I love it! :)