Ever wondered what those white balls called makhana or phool makhana taste like? And how can they be consumed? Today, let us learn about this foodstuff that finds its place in most Indian kitchens.
Also called lotus seeds, fox nuts, or gorgon nuts, phool makhanas make for a healthy snack. They are rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and a good source of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc.
Phool makhanas are mostly added to Indian desserts such as rice kheer, sabudana kheer, or makhana kheer.
Makhanas are considered auspicious and therefore, used as offerings to Gods, especially during pooja times. They are even added to dry prasad along with misri or added to Panchamrit.
You can also perk up many savory dishes with this fibrous eatable. When soaked overnight, phool makhana can be added to soups, salads, stews, and curries.
Makhanas can be eaten raw too but are very chewy and bland.
Often touted as the poor man’s popcorn, phool makhana is reasonably priced, quick to prepare, and loaded with health benefits.
Young mothers can instill the habit of healthy snacking in their kids by offering them roasted phool makhanas instead of buttered popcorn.
Let's quickly check some health benefits of phool makhana-
- Rich in antioxidants- Flavonoids present in the phool makhana are known to slow down the aging process.
- Anti-inflammatory properties- Flavonoids are good for the body and have anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces the risk of heart disease too.
- Detoxifies spleen- Spleen plays an important role in maintaining the balance of body fluids. Fox nuts are believed to detoxify spleen and aid the smooth functioning of the same.
- Control blood pressure- High content of potassium and low content of sodium in fox nuts helps maintain blood pressure. It is known to control systolic blood pressure levels very well.
- Fights infertility- Fox nuts are believed to be good for the reproductive system and improve the quantity and quality of the semen. They also help in maintaining the water balance in your body so that your body secretions are balanced.
- Calcium-rich food - Makhana is a rich source of calcium. It is good for the health of your teeth, joints, and bones.
- Benefits people with arthritis- Being rich in calcium, fox nuts help maintain calcium balance in the body. This helps people suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis, and other joint problems.
Makhana Kheer Recipe
Makhana Kheer is a mouth-watering dessert dolloped with dry fruits.
- Phool Makhana- 250 gm
- Milk- 250 gm
- Ghee- 4 tbsp
- Almonds- 8 pieces
- Sugar- 250 gm
- Cashew- 8 pieces
- Saffron- 1-2 Strands
- Cardamom powder- a pinch
- Heat ghee in a pan, on low flame. Add phool makhana, almonds, and cashews. Roast on low flame. Keep aside after makhana turns crunchy and cashews golden.
- Add milk in a separate pan and bring it to boil.
- Keep 1/4th of the roasted makhana, almonds, and cashews mixture aside. Grind the rest of it to make powder.
- Add sugar to the boiled milk. Add saffron strands, cardamom powder, powdered makhana mixture to the milk. Stir well for 2 minutes.
- Add the 1/4th of mixture that was kept aside. Mix properly. Stir on low flame till makhana seeds turn soft.
- Let it simmer till the whole concoction blends well.
- Either let it cool and savor the cold dessert, or serve hot and relish.
How to store Makhana-
Makhana lasts up to 6 months if stored in a cool and dry place.
You can also roast makhana in ghee, add a little salt and black pepper powder. Let it cool and store in an airtight container.
If in a hurry, pick Roasted Makhana, Lime & Mint, a ready made snack to beat your hunger pangs!
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