Makhana curry, also known as “Phool Makhana Curry” or “Lotus Seed Curry,” is a delicious and creamy North Indian dish that features roasted lotus seeds (makhana) simmered in a rich and flavorful tomato-based gravy. Here’s a simple recipe for making Makhana Curry:
For the Curry Base:
- 1 cup lotus seeds (makhana)
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons cashew nuts (optional, for creaminess)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Roast the Lotus Seeds (Makhana):
- Heat a dry skillet or pan over low to medium heat.
- Add the lotus seeds (makhana) to the skillet.
- Roast them gently, stirring frequently, until they become crisp and turn slightly golden brown. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
- Prepare the Curry Base:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or ghee in a large pan or skillet over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for another 2 minutes until the raw aroma disappears.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts (if using). Cook until the tomatoes become soft and start breaking down.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then blend it into a smooth paste using a blender or food processor. If needed, you can add a little water to facilitate blending.
- Return the blended mixture to the pan and place it over low heat.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until the oil begins to separate from the masala (spice mixture).
- Whisk the yogurt until it is smooth and add it to the pan. Stir well to combine and cook for a few more minutes, allowing the yogurt to blend into the gravy.
- Add water to achieve your desired consistency for the curry. Start with about 1 to 1.5 cups of water.
- Add the roasted lotus seeds (makhana) to the curry. Stir them in gently.
- Cover the pan and simmer the curry on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the lotus seeds to absorb the flavors and soften. Stir occasionally.
- While the curry is simmering, prepare the tempering: In a separate small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or ghee. Add cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida. Allow the seeds to crackle for a few seconds.
- Pour the tempering over the simmering curry and mix well.
- Finally, add garam masala and fresh coriander leaves. Stir to combine.
- Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Serve the Makhana Curry hot with steamed rice, roti, or naan bread.
Enjoy your homemade Makhana Curry with its creamy, rich tomato-based gravy and the delightful crunch of roasted lotus seeds!