Lotus Stem. Hindi Name: Bhein or Kamal Kakri. Also known as lotus root it is a root vegetable from India and China, used widely in Indian, Chinese and Japanese food. They are the edible parts of the lotus flower which is found under water. It is usually crunchy and is fairly sweet and has a flavor like water chestnut
Crunchy, delicate flavored, lotus root is an edible rhizome (root) of lotus plant. Almost all the parts of the plant: root, young flower stalks, and seeds are being used in the cuisine.
Lotus is herbaceous, perennial aquatic plant belonging to Nelumbonaceae family. Scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera. It is popular as renkon in the Japan. Since centuries, lotus has held high esteem in the far East regions, especially in Chinese and Japanese cultures.Also known as lotus root it is a root vegetable from India.It is usually crunchy and has a flavor like water chestnut. It has a delicate flavor.
Hi friends! Here is delicious , easy , never failing recipe of mine with thinly sliced Lotus stem cooked in a variety of masalas. You will like to have this dish on your menu regularly.
- 200 gm lotus stems
- 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp Amchoor /dry mango powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 cup yoghurt 1/2 tsp salt or /Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Olive oil or any other cooking oil
- 2 tsp Cilantro /coriander leaves, finely chopped
Lightly peel / scrape off the outer layer of the lotus stems and wash well as they are generally caked with dry mud.
Cut the stems into diagonal, 1/4 cm thick slices. Keep aside
In a pressure cooker take one cup water and add the sliced lotus stems. Close the lid and place the cooker on high flame. The moment full pressure is formed reduce the heat to low flame. After fifteen minutes switch off the stove. when cooker cools to room temperature, open the lid and take out the lotus stem slices in a bowl.
( If there is no pressure cooker available, boil in 5-6 cups of water simmer till tender. Takes about 30-45 minutes. Drain and cool. )
In a grinder take ginger grated, 1 tsp cumin seed and two tsp coriander powder, add quarter cup of water. Grind the ingredients to a fine paste. Keep aside.
Take heavy bottom pan/ wok / kadahi add oil to it when it is little hot add asafetida to it. when asafetida is light pink in colour, add cumin seeds.
When cumin starts crackling add the ground ingredients (step 4), fry for few seconds. Add the steamed / cooked Lotus stem slices (step 3), amchoor / dry mango powder to the mixture, and stir well.
Add the whisked yoghurt and the garam masala powder cook over high flame, bring it to boil , reduce the heat and cook for ten minutes on low flame, gravy thickens. Switch off the stove.
Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves with any Indian bread of choice.
Health benefits of Lotus root:
Lotus stem is very healthy being a great source of dietary fiber. It contains minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese. It boosts the production of red blood cells. It has a high content of vitamin C which helps to protect our body from scurvy and increases immunity.
- Lotus root is one of the moderate calorie root vegetables. 100 g root-stem provides about 74 calories. Nevertheless, it composed of several health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
- Lotus rhizome is very good source dietary fiber; 100 g flesh provides 4.9 g or 13% of daily-requirement of fiber. Dietary fiber together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates in the lotus root help reduce blood cholesterol, sugar, body weight and constipation conditions.
- Fresh lotus root is one of the excellent sources of vitamin C. 100 g root provides 44 mg or 73% of daily-recommended values. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is the main structural protein inside the body, required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy, develop resistance against viral infections, boosting of immunity, wound healing and to scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body.
- In addition, the root contains moderate levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), folates, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) acts as a coenzyme in the neuro-chemical synthesis in the brain which influences mood. Adequate pyridoxine levels help control nervous irritability, headache, and tension. It also cuts heart-attack risk by controlling harmful homocysteine levels in the blood.
- Further, the root provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Along with iron, it is also required in the production of red blood cells.
- Crunchy, neutral yet delicate flavor of root lotus is because of its optimum electrolyte balance. It composes agreeable ratio of sodium to potassium at the value 1:4. While sodium gives sweet taste to the root, potassium acts to counter negative effects of sodium by regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
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