The other day, one of my friends, who returned from her Kashmir trip had an urge to eat the delicious lotus root that she had so enjoyed in Kashmir. Unfortunately, she could not find in the market in Delhi. It’s a rare thing and not many vegetable vendors sell it. This is usually available at Chinese stores as canned food or if you like fresh stem, then it is normally found in the areas where Sindhi community lives. Lotus stem, also known as Kamal Kakri or Bhien, it is regularly cooked in Sindhi homes.
I had posted in detail the recipe of 'Lotus stem in potatoes' at http://papadchai.blogspot.in/2014/03/lotus-stem-with-potatoes.html
I have this recipe ‘Bhugal Bhee Vadi’ in my cookbook #SindhiCuisine on page 64. My friend Anita Mantri, tried the recipe and send me back her feedback. She writes “It bought back nostalgic memories when your mom fed us with utmost love. It was so close to the original taste.”
Lotus stem made its regular appearance in my home during growing up years. Mom used to spend hours cleaning each pore of the stem with a cotton bud. I used to hate the hair-like fiber that would cling to my cheek as I took the bit off the cooked chunk.
Lotus stems were cooked during every family festivals and celebrations, it was considered as the favorite vegetarian substitute. Being very versatile, sometimes it was mashed and rolled into koftas to make kofta curry, sometimes coated with gram flour and deep fried, sometimes chopped finely and paired with carrots and sometimes clubbed with dried mushrooms. In every style it tasted fabulous. Crunchy, delicate, water chestnut like flavor and visually appealing too I enjoyed it a lot.
Today I wanted to make lotus stem again, but there were no onions in my pantry. Should I make Chinese or should I stick to Indian style. My maid had already made chappatis for me, so Chinese was out, couldn’t possibly eat Chinese with chappatis. No way.
The next option was to make in tomatoes. So here is my recipe of Lotus Stem in Tomato gravy.
200gms lotus stem
1 crushed cardamom
pinch of asafetida
2-3 curry leaves
1/2inch grated garlic
1 large tomato
1/2tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnishing
1. The delicious lotus stem should be cut into thin strips at a slant and pressure-cooked.
2. In a pan heat oil.
3. Add cardamom, asafetida, curry leaves, ginger and tomatoes.
4. Add potatoes and lotus stem.
5. Add turmeric powder and salt.
6. Add half of cup water.
7. Cover and let it cook till potatoes are tender.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serves 2 persons