Makhane also called phool makhana are fox nuts. Papery and light as air, makhane are promoted as having good nutritional value. I am not a nutritionist, for me makhane are all about taste! This easy Makhane ki Kheer is a good substitute for the more common rice kheer and just as delicious. Make it for when you are celebrating Navratra or for a treat!
And now for a quiz.
Q: How many edible parts does a lotus plant have?
There’s the stem which makes for a great snack.
And? Why, seeds, of course! And it can be a dessert. Believe me!
Makhana is a Lotus Seed in Hindi. These seeds are harvested from the Lotus plant and its relatives in the Nelumbo family. Also known as Fox Nuts, Makhane (plural) are the end product of drying lotus seeds which are puffy, light and almost papery on the surface.
Medicinal? Nutrition dense? Perhaps, but delicious first!
In India and China they have been used for ages for their medicinal properties. Growing up, my mother would make a savory dish with a tomato based curry using makhane and peas called Matar Makhane. It has been a favorite of mine. Until recently that was the only way I ever made makhane. And then I discovered the sweeter side of makhane in the form of a kheer! If you have been on the blog before or seen our Instagram stories then you know we love desserts and milk puddings at that. Kheer is basically a milk pudding made with a combination of either rice and milk, or broken cereal like semolina and rice. Similarly, mild flavoured makhane make for a great addition to a milk pudding.
So here goes.
Total Cooking Time ~ 1 hour
Inactive: 10 minutes, Active: 50 minutes
Serves 2 people
Ingredients for Phool Makhane ki Kheer:
Makhane/Phool Makhane/Fox Nuts 1/2 cup,
Ghee 1 tbsp,
Whole Cardamom pods (green) 2,
Milk 1 1/2 cup (part 2%, part whole milk),
Sugar to taste ( ~ 5 tbsp used here),
Whole Cashews 1/3 cup,
Whole Almonds 1/3 cup,
Golden raisins 1/3 cup (you could also use black raisins),
Saffron 4-5 strands.
Cooking Makhane ki Kheer:
To begin, measure all ingredients.
Then, put a heavy bottomed pan on the stove at medium high heat. To this add ghee and then add cardamom pods. I prefer to saute whole cardamom pods instead of powdered cardamom. Choose what you prefer. To powder cardamom open the pods and grind only the seeds within.
I prefer to sauté makhane in ghee before cooking them in milk. Sauté until makhane turn light brown. Reduce heat and then add milk. Bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Since there is ghee and high fat milk, it is very likely that milk will burn and form a layer on the bottom of the pan. To avoid this stirring is a must.
For a reduced fat version skip sauteing makhane in ghee and just go on to boil them in milk. You can also replace whole milk with reduced fat milk.
After the first boil, reduce heat to a medium low and let the mix simmer for about 40 minutes, until makhane are soft and mash easily with back of the spoon. Stir in between.
While the pudding cooks, do two things. First take a mortar and pestle and gently crush almonds and cashews. I prefer this method instead of slicing dry fruits. This was one of my mother’s tricks. The advantage of this method is that cashews become fine and powdery and thicken the pudding. Also it gets easier to mix in the nuts and everyone gets an equal helping of all ingredients.
Secondly, wash the raisins and soak them in a cup of water while the pudding simmers.
Once makhane are cooked through, add sugar and mix well. Finally add crushed dry fruits and raisins – draining all the water.
Give the kheer a good stir, turn off the heat and let it cool down in a serving bowl. Top it off with a few strands of saffron. And voila, a delicious and nutritious dessert is ready!
Makhane ki Kheer
- 1/2 Cup Makhane
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 2 Cardamom pods whole or ground
- 1.5 Cup Milk whole or 2% fat
- Sugar to taste
- 1/3 Cup Kaju/Cashews broken or roughly chopped
- 1/3 Cup Badam/Almonds broken or roughly chopped
- 1/3 Cup Kishmish/Golden Raisins
- 4-5 Strands Saffron
- Measure all ingredients. Put a heavy bottomed pan on the stove at medium high heat. Add ghee and cardamom pods. Saute whole cardamom until fragrant. Or use powdered cardamom later in milk.
- Next, add makhane and sauté until light brown.
- Reduce heat and add milk. Bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Since there is ghee and high fat milk, it is very likely that milk will burn and form a layer on the bottom of the pan. To avoid this stirring is a must.
- After the first boil, reduce heat to a medium low and let the mix simmer for about 40 minutes, until makhane are soft and mash easily with back of the spoon. Stir in between.
- Crush almonds and cashews as finely as possible using a mortar-pestle or roughly chop them.
- Wash raisins and soak them in a cup of water while the pudding simmers.
- Once makhane are cooked through, add sugar and mix well. Finally add crushed dry fruits and raisins after draining all the water. Give the kheer a good stir, turn off the heat and let it cool down in a serving bowl. Top it off with a few strands of saffron. A delicious and nutritious dessert is ready!