Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) is a very popular ingredient used in this recipe. The unusual one is the Makhana ( lotus seeds). Puffed lotus seeds are used in this recipe.
The lotus seeds are also called fox nut or gorgon nut. However, being low in fat and high in carbohydrates, these are nutritionally distinct from nuts and seeds. Lotus seeds are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Lotus seeds are also low in sodium.
Their low sodium and high magnesium content makes them useful for those suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. These seeds have been used extensively in traditional Oriental and Chinese medicine for their health benefits and are valued for their nutritional and healing properties.
These seeds contain an anti-aging enzyme, which is believed to help repair damaged proteins.
Lotus seeds are also known to contain kaempferol, a natural flavonoid also found in coffee which prevents inflammation and aging.
It is believed that roasted lotus seeds make a coffee substitute. In addition, lotus seeds are high on phyto-nutrients (disease fighting nutrients) including alkaloids, gallic acid, saponins.
Most significantly, the glycemic index of lotus seed is significantly lower than most high carbohydrate foods like rice, bread and others. It appears that lotus seeds may have a beneficial effect on diabetic individuals, and may be one of the more appropriate foods for them.
According to Ayurveda, lotus seeds have astringent properties that have specific benefits to the kidneys, helping to restore vital energy within the body.
The seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground and boiled into a syrup or paste. The most common use of the seed is in the form of lotus seed paste, which is used extensively in Chinese pastries as well as in Japanese desserts. Dried lotus seeds may be soaked in water overnight prior to use. They can then be added directly to soups, salads or used in other dishes. Puffed seeds are used in curries, kheer, puddings and dry roasted snacks.
This is a very unique, rich and a creamy dish in which no vegetables are used at all, not even onions. It’s Tarla Dalal’s recipe. I have made few changes in it. I made this for the first time today. Have to say that it was very easy to make and was certainly very tasty. My family really liked it. This will be a good option for party menus:)
Paneer – 200 gms
Makhana ( lotus seeds) – 11/2 cups
Oil – 6-7 tbsps
Red chilli powder – 3/4th tsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ( jeera) – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp
Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Warm milk – 2 tbsps
Saffron ( kesar/ kungumapoo) – a pinch
To grind to a paste
Khuskhus – 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps
Unsweetened khoya – 100 gms
Yogurt – 5 tbsps
Ghee – 2 tsps
Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp
Raisins – 1 tsp
Soak khuskhus and cashew nuts in little water for 15-20 mins.
Grind this along with khoya and yogurt to a smooth paste.
Soak the saffron in warm milk.
Cut paneer into cubes.
Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan. Shallow fry the paneer cubes till it turns golden brown. Remove and keep it aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the ground paste and sauté on a low flame for few mins.
Crush the saffron well and add it to the simmering gravy along with the milk and let it simmer for few more mins.
Add the tempering to the gravy and serve it hot with roti or parathas 🙂