Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kamal Kakdi Ki Sabzi/Lotus Stem/Root Sabzi

Lotus stem/roots are very healthy and fibrous ingredients. To start with, I had no clue about cooking with lotus stems except once I have heard my aunt talking about making vathal with it. But then I have never tasted those vathal or haven’t even seen them as they are not a common sight in south Indian markets until I saw these in sabzi mandis. Only after moving here the visits to sabzi mandis have made me look upon other ingredients and cooking with seasonal veggies going with the flow.

When I cooked it for the first time something went wrong but one thing I knew was that they had a great texture and flavor so determined to cook it again. So next time I followed a very simple procedure of making sabzis and got a little guidance from my neighbor. It turned out well and I liked it. To explain what it would be like to south Indians who haven’t tasted it, I would say they resemble the texture of panang kizhangu (sprouts of Asian Palmyra palm). But again if you haven’t tasted panang kizhangu, then all I can say is they are fibrous, crunchy and rooty! I would say that they don’t have any significant /strong flavors that would totally change the flavors of a sabzi but they do have subtle flavors. Do try it.

Kamal Kakdi/Lotus stem/root- 1 cup, chopped
Onion-2, roughly chopped
Tomato puree-1/2 cup/Tomato paste-2 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Red chili powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
Aamchur/dried mango powder-1/2 tsp (optional)
Kasuri methi-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Dried red chilies-2, broken
Coriander leaves- to garnish
Salt-as needed
Oil- 1tbsp
How It Happened:
1. Wash the lotus roots well by running water through them and pat dry them. Peel the skin and slice them to ½ inch thick pieces. Now again wash it  well to remove any dirt add salt and pressure cook them for a whistle, then simmer the flame for 5 minutes and switch off the flame. Let it rest.

2. Heat oil in a pan; add the cumin seeds and broken red chilies. When they pop, add onions and cook until they turn glossy. Then add ginger garlic paste and tomato paste (if using) and cook until the raw smell goes off. If you are using tomato puree, then first fry the ginger and garlic paste until the raw smell goes off then add the tomato puree and cook well.
3. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and mix well and cook for a minute.

4. Add the steamed lotus roots and ½ cup water and cook for 5-7 minutes.
5. Now add the garam masala powder, amchoor powder and crushed kasuri methi and mix well.
6. Switch off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.
* Use fresh lotus roots as possible. Clean them well else they will give out a fishy odor.
* Pressure cooking helps in softening the roots. 1 whistle makes them soft still they maintain the crunch and texture. If you want them really soft cook for 1 more whistle. If don’t want to pressure cook then add more water and cook them for atleast 15 minutes.

* You can also use chopped tomatoes and cook until they are mushy. I added tomato paste for they give a rich color.

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