Just as visually appealing is flower, is root with holes. It’s a popular flower and vegetable throughout Asia. It is nothing but Lotus root. Lotus young flower, root, flower stalks and seeds are edible. Petals are used to make tea in China. Seeds are called makhane in India. Kheer and curries are made out of makhane. Just like its appealing looks, Lotus root is luxuriously delectable and healthy. Impress your date, family or guests cooking with this stunning looking yet heavenly vegetable.
Where can we find lotus root?
Farmers market, local markets, flea markets are places you can find fresh lotus root. Canned should be available thru out the year. For maximum nutrients and fresh taste, use fresh lotus root.
Is Lotus root healthy?
Lotus root is full of fiber, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. In Asia it is believed to have medicinal qualities such as detoxifying liver and kidney. Lotus root is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It is said to decrease the size of enlarged livers and lowering the amount of fats stored in the liver. In certain areas of Asia Lotus root used to cure diabetes, inflammation, infections and liver damage.
How to cook lotus root?
Separate or cut attached roots. Cut edges, peel the skin and slice into about 1/2 cm thick. If root is young, you don’t have to steam. If the root is old, steam in boiling water till soft. You can check if you need steaming by pressing and bending root slices. If they are soft, and breaks off when you bend, you don’t need steaming.
Raw lotus root is oval. Many oval-shaped roots are attached to each other. Do not miss if you find a fresh one. Fresh root obviously is best choice compared to canned or frozen. Light peach colored one is young. Young ones are usually around 3 inches. Large, brown is older root. Young ones are best to cook. You can eat young ones raw.
- 3 - Lotus root
- 1 small onion
- ¼ head purple or regular cabbage - optional
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 2 tbsp - raw unsalted peanuts
- 2 tbsp - raw unsalted cashews
- 1 -2 tbsp - naturally brewed soy sauce
- 10 red chillies
- 3 tbsp - healthy oil
- ¼ tsp - grated ginger
- ¼ tsp - grated garlic
- Peel lotus root skin. Slice into about ½ cm thick. If root is young, you don't have to steam. If root is old, steam in boiling water till soft. You can check if you need steaming by pressing root slices. If they are soft, and breaks off when you bend, you don't need steaming.
- In cast iron skillet, pour desired amount of oil. 3 tbsp should be good enough. Heat to medium.
- Add lotus root. Cook till soft. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile add 1 tsp oil to a small pan. Add peanuts and cashews. Fry till light brown.
- Add onion, cabbage and kale, grated ginger, garlic and salt.
- Turn heat to high. Stir often. Watch carefully not to burn. Cook till a bit soft yet crunchy.
- Add soy sauce. Stir, let all soy sauce is absorbed.
- Garnish with peanuts and cashews.
- Serve with brown rice, cooked cracked wheat.