For those who fast during Indian religious festivals, makhana, or foxnuts, are a mainstay. Also called lotus seeds, gorgon nuts, Phool Makhana, and Euryale Ferox are part of the beautiful lotus flowers. These seeds are frequently used in various Indian sweets and savoury dishes, including kheer, raita, and makhana curry, and as a teatime snack in the evening. But, the kheer made with makhana during Ganesh Chaturthi is the ultimate treat for many. 

The recipes of makhana kheer a vast diversities. These seeds are compatible with several ingredients and yet have the ability to retain their character in the dish. While a few prepare makhana kheer with rice and sugar, one can also whip up a creamy kheer skipping the rice. Using mawa and makhana, with a copious amount of healthy dry fruits, a kheer can be the primary dessert during this Ganesh Chaturthi. 

Do you know that once, makhana was a popular ingredient in the Indian kitchen? The cultivation of these seeds is the livelihood of many marginalised farmers. They primarily farmed them in the central Indian marshes. Over the years, many fancy nuts and seeds have relegated them to the backseats. It has caused a loss of living for such farmers. Our festivals are perfect occasions to use native nuts, grains, or vegetables. It will lead to an inclusive celebration by doing our bit to support the farmers involved in indigenous cultivation.

Let's try a simple kheer for our beloved Ganpati Bappa, and seek his blessings. 

Makhana Mawa Kheer

Makhana Kheer, Image Credits: Monika, Sin-A-Mon Tales

Ingredients

  • 1 cup makhana 
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3-4 green cardamom 
  • 10 cashews (sliced)
  • 15 almonds (blanched and chopped)
  • 15 seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup mawa
  • 3 tbsp powdered organic jaggery
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Method


Roasting makhana, Image Credits: Neha @whiskaffair

1. In a heavy-bottomed kadhai, heat the ghee.

2.  Now add the cashew nuts and makhana and roast them in low heat.

3. Ensure they develop a crunchy texture without getting burnt by stirring constantly.

4. Once they reach the desired look and texture, remove them from heat and separate the cashews and foxnuts.

5. Keeping 1/3 cup of roasted makhana aside, pour the rest into a blender. Add husked green cardamom and pound it into a smooth powder.

6. Take a heavy-bottomed vessel to boil the milk. Keep the flame medium to low. Stir the milk once in a while.

7. Once the milk starts boiling, add the makhana powder, and bring to a boil, ensuring it's not sticking to the vessel. 

8. Now blend in the whole roasted foxnuts and give it a thorough stir. Add the grated mawa.

9. Keeping the flame on medium, cook until the milk gets thick and the makhanas become soft. It will take around 10 minutes. 

10. Introduce the dry fruits and cook for another couple of minutes. Switch off the flame

11. Sugar can be added while boiling the ingredients in milk. If you are using jaggery, add it while the kheer slightly cools down. Else, jaggery has the tendency to curdle the milk. 

12. Serve the creamy kheer warm. Alternately, you can refrigerate it and relish the cold dessert with a thicker consistency.  

Makhana is low in calories. Thus, this kheer is a perfect festive indulgence.