Makhana Kheer: A Bowl Of Luxurious, Nutrient-Dense Saccharine

What does Kheer mean to you? Is it only rice, semolina, milk and sugar combined into a pudding? Think over it again. Because the bubbly, spongy, and crunchy Makhanas, or Gorgon nut, can give one of the most scrumptious kheers you have ever had. The ghee-roasted whole Makhanas mixed with coarsely powdered Makhanas, cooked in milk on slow heat reward with a rare nutty taste and khoya-like creaminess and sweetness without adding any khoya. Lastly infused with saffron and garnished with cashews and pistachios, it comes out as an easy-to-afford regal delight. In terms of cooking difficulty, it’s easier than a Phirni and almost equivalent to a regular rice kheer. 

All About Makhanas, History And More

Makhana or Makhana Phool or Fox Nut is nature’s wonder in every way. These amazing dry fruits are the seeds of the aquatic Euryale Ferox plant, which belongs to the genus Nelumbo, or Lotus plants. The origin of Makhana cultivation in India is about 200 centuries old and started in Madhubani and Darbhanga of Bihar. Curiously enough, this nutrition-rich dry fruit was then grown by a poor Mallah community of farmers through traditional methods under the kingship of Darbhanga Maharaj in the 18th century. Today, of course, it has been promoted widely and is grown in various parts of the country. However, Bihar had been striving to get GI Tag for Makhana also called Black Diamond, to boost the export of Makhanas to other regions, and it was granted the unique GI Tag for Mithila Makhana by the Centre in 2021.

Now comes the nutritional value and health benefits of Makhana which are also known as superfoods. The good part is that these are low-calorie foods and perfect weight-loss snacks as they are rich in proteins and keep one full for longer, preventing overeating. Besides, Makhanas are low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats and are good for the heart. These are conventionally eaten after roasting in ghee with salt as snacks in the winter evenings. Also commonly used for making Kheer, sabzi and Makhana curry. 

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Servings: 3 


    2 tbsp ghee

    2 cups makhana

    5 cups milk

    3/4th cups sugar

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder

    A few strands of saffron

    1 tbsp chopped pistachios

    1 tbsp chopped cashew

    1 tbsp chopped almonds


    In a pan, heat ghee and roast makhanas for 3-4 minutes.

    After cooling, grind half the makhana into a coarse powder.

    In another pan heat milk and add the remaining whole makhanas into the milk.

    Add the coarse makhana powder to the milk and sugar and cook.

    Then add nutmeg powder, saffron, and mix well.

    Add chopped pistachios, cashews and almonds and stir well.

    Serve hot.

Put the underutilised Makhanas to better use and don’t confine them to winter snacks. Let it prove itself with its inherent richness of nutrients and taste. Flaunt and impress the guests with this easily prepared dessert on festive occasions and gatherings. Equally great idea to supplement one’s breakfast with it.