Did You Know?
Makhanas, also called fox nuts, or lotus seeds, come from a plant called Euryale Fox which grows in the stagnant water of wetlands or ponds in Eastern Asia. They have been used in Chinese medicine since 3000 years and find an important place in the science of Ayurveda too.Closer home, Phool Makhana also finds significance in religious ceremonies in India and is a popular ‘fasting’ dish prepared during Navratri and other occasions.
Benefits of Makhanas (Fox Nuts)
1) They are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. This makes them an ideal snack to satiate those in-between meal hunger pangs.
2) They are beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases and obesity due to their high magnesium and low sodium content.
3) Makhanas are recommended for diabetics too due to their low glycemic index.
4) An anti-ageing enzyme in these seeds is said to help repair damaged proteins.
5) In addition, the presence of a natural flavonoid called kaempferol (also present in coffee), helps prevent inflammation and ageing.
6) Ayurvedic beliefs suggest that fox nuts astringent properties that benefit the kidneys.
7) Makhanas are gluten-free, protein rich and high in carbohydrates.
8) They are low in calories, making them an ideal snack for weight loss.
9) Ayurvedic and Unani medicine believe them to have aphrodisiac properties.
How to Consume
The beauty of these seeds is in their versatility. You can roast the seeds or fry them in a little ghee wherein they pop and resemble popcorn. These puffed seeds can be tossed with some black salt and had as a snack. Alternatively, the puffed seeds can be used as an ingredient in dishes like MakhanaKheer, Creamy Makhana with Mushrooms and Makhana Chops. A paste made with lotus seeds is used as a key ingredient in many Japanese and Chinese desserts. The seed itself has a very neutral taste and takes on the flavours that are added to it.We live in exciting times and variety is the essence of life. Makhanas are available in myriad flavours in gourmet stores, both online and offline, like mint and the more exciting wasabi. The latter has an unmistakable kick that goes perfectly with a cooling beverage on the side. No wonder even Kareena Kapoor swears by them as her favourite snack to munch on!