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Last Updated Tuesday October 24 2017 09:28 AM IST

Add an element of surprise to your dinner table with this lotus stem curry

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Lotus stem curry

Most people would instantly recognize a lotus flower floating in water, but many of us wouldn’t know its spongy stem, which is used as a vegetable in Kashmir. The porous stem of the aquatic plant is consumed by Kashmiri Hindus in many forms – stews, fries or soups, you name it.

But nothing beats the taste of this succulent vegetable in a mildly spiced, yogurt gravy. The valley people calls this creamy lotus curry Nadru Yakhni. Try it once and we bet you will never look at the lotus plant the same way again.

Ingredients

For boiling

2 cups of chopped lotus stem

4 split green chilies

2 green cardamom pods

2 black cardamom pods

¼ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp fennel powder

4 whole cloves

½ inch cinnamon stick

For gravy

2 cups yogurt

½ tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp besan powder

½ tsp ginger powder

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp cardamom powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp coriander powder

For tempering

½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida

2 tbsp ghee

Preparation

Clean, wash and peel the lotus stems. Dice them into thin pieces

Soak them in warm water for 15 minutes to get rid of the dirt inside its porous holes. Wash it again

Pour one tsp ghee into a pressure cooker and saute the lotus stems and the ingredients for boiling

Add two and a half cups of water to the cooker and wait for five-six whistles or until the stems are fully cooked

Beat yogurt and besan in a bowl and add to the cooker

In a bowl of water, mix salt, turmeric, ginger powder, cardamom powder, fennel powder and add to the curry

Cook for 20 minutes without closing the lid and stir continuously to avoid curdling

Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin and asafoetida

When the cumin seeds splutter, add Kashmiri chili powder and pour over the curry

Serve hot, along with boiled rice or naan

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