Ever Wondered Why Makhanas Are Expensive? Find Out

Makhanas needs no introduction. Also known as fox nuts and lotus seeds, makhanas are a type of dry fruit and are considered ideal for quick and healthy snacking. When we say healthy, we mean it. This is because makhanas are loaded with micronutrients and have a high content of antioxidants. It can help in curing inflammation and even cancer. Undoubtedly, makhanas are no less than a superfood. 

As per a report published in makhana.org, cultivation of Makhana started at Madhubani, a popular Mithilanchal region of Bihar by a community of farmers. From Madhubani, Makhana seeds and Makhana Pops have extended to other parts of the Country. Historically, in the Eighteenth Century, under the kingship of King Darbhanga, Makhana was cultivated in Darbhanga and Madhubani districts. In those times, farmers used to get a profit of Rs 3 per acre for cultivation.  

Did you know that Bihar is one of the major producers of makhanas in India? If some experts are to be believed, 90 percent of the world’s production comes from Bihar. In 2022 August, Bihar’s ‘Mithila Makhana’ won the GI tag and it was a proud moment for the farmers engaged in makhana production. Even though makhanas are produced locally, they are quite expensive. Makhanas range from Rs 500 to Rs 1500 per kg but have you ever wondered why?  

The reason behind this is its hard and tiring production process. Makhana production is a laborious process and requires a lot of hard work. It gets started with the collection of seeds by skilled labourers. As per a report published in The Better India, makhana harvest is done from 9 am to 4 pm and skilled labourers wade into the muddy ponds. They carry long bamboo pools with them to collect the seeds from the bottom of the plants that have thorns.  

Then comes the second step of cleaning and storage. After the seeds are collected, they are stored in a device and sun-dried for a couple of hours after a two-step cleaning process. For the third step, the processed seeds undergo grading. The seeds are then procured in different sizes. Thereafter, the seeds are heated in earthen pitchers over the fire and tempered for three days. After this, they are roasted, popped, polished, and packaged. It is not at all an easy process, believe me! 

Since we have talked so much about makhanas, let us share with you a recipe of yummy and tangy makhana recipe. This chaat is something you would not want to miss. Follow the steps below and have a delicious chaat while admiring the beauty of makhanas.  

Makhana Chaat

                          Image credits: Instagram/joydeep_ray


  • 1/5 cup makhana 
  • 1 cup curd 
  • ½ tbsp sugar 
  • 2 tsp ghee 
  • 1 tsp green chutney 
  • 1 tsp imli chutney 
  • ½ tsp chaat masala 
  • ½ tsp roasted jeera powder 
  • 1 onion (chopped) 
  • Handful of coriander leaves for garnishing 
  • Some sev 


  • Take a bowl and add curd. Add sugar and whisk until smooth. 
  • Add the roasted makhanas and mix. 
  • Add jeera powder, red chili powder, and chaat masala. 
  • Add chopped onion, coriander leaves, and sev. 
  • Mix and serve!