SUMMARY- Makhanas are the most underrated snack option ever because not many people are familiar with the numerous health benefits of the snack. They are low in calories and extremely high, they help burn fat and thus aids weight loss. Makhana kheer, masala makhana snack and makhana curry are some of the ways you can incorporate makhanas in your diet.

Makhanas are the most underrated snack option. Also called as fox nuts or lotus seeds, this non-cereal is grown in the stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds, lake and ditches. We call them underrated because not many people are familiar with the numerous health benefits of makhanas. While in reality, makhanas are the most healthiest munching snacks packed with zero calories.

Key benefits of makhanas are:

  • They are rich in protein, good carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and minerals
  • Since they are low in calories and extremely high in fibre, they help in burning fat and thus aid weight loss.
  • For those who are overweight or obese, can benefit by makhanas as it has low sodium and high magnesium content.
  • The glycaemic index of makhanas is considerably lower than most of the high carbohydrate foods like bread, rice, etc.

Here are the different ways to eat the savoury snack:

1. Masala makhana snack

Ingredients:

  • Makhana – 3 cups
  • Oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp.
  • Cumin seeds powder – ½ tsp.
  • Chaat masala – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – to taste

Instructions:

  • Take a deep non-stick and put it on medium heat.
    Add makhanas and dry roast them for 4-5 minutes
  • Transfer them in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Take the same pan again and put oil, red chilli powder, cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, salt and stir well to mix.
  • Put the flame to high and add the roasted makahanas.
  • Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  • Serve immediately or let cool and then store in an air-tight container.

2. Makhana Kheer

Ingredients:

  • Makhanas – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Low-fat milk – 1 ½ cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Saffron strands – a few
  • Nutmeg powder – ¼ tsp
  • Pistachio slivers – 1 tsp

Instructions:

  • Take a deep non-stick pan and heat ghee.
  • Add makhanas and sauté for 2-3 minutes on low flame, until they are crisp.
  • Remove from the heat and blend them with a blender to form a coarse mixture. Keep aside.
  • Take another deep non-stick pan and boil milk in it.
  • Add sugar and the crushed makhanas, mix properly and cook for about two minutes, occasionally stirring in between.
  • Add the nutmeg and saffron powder, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Stir every minute.
  • Garnish with pistachios slivers and serve immediately.

3. Makhana curry

  • Cashew nuts – ½ cup + 1 tbsp.
  • Muschroom (sliced) – 1 cup
  • Makhanas – 1 ½ cup
  • Ghee – 4 tbsp.
  • Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  • Cardamoms – 3
  • Cloves – 2
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp.
  • Tomatoes (roughly chopped) – 2 cups
  • Onions (roughly chopped) – 1 cup

Instructions:

  • Take a deep on-stick pan and combine tomatoes, onions, 1 tbsp. cashews and 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Mix the ingredients well and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Stir occasionally.
  • Let the mixture cool, blend in a mixer until smooth. Keep it aside.
  • Take a broad non-stick pan, add ghee and makhanas. Sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Transfer them on a plate and keep it aside.
  • Then use the same pan to sauté 1 tsp ghee and cashew nuts for 1-2 minutes on medium flame. Keep it also aside.
  • Take a broad non-stick pan again and add the remaining ghee, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Sauté for a few seconds on medium heat.
  • To the already prepared tomato and onion gravy, add chilli powder and cook for 7-8 minutes on medium flame, stirring occasionally.
  • Add makhanas, cashews, mushrooms, a cup of salt and mix well to combine.
  • Cook on medium flame for another 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and serve hot.