by Shivani Khanna
Euryale ferox or Fox Nut, also known as Makhana in Hindi is a flowering plant classified in the water lily family which grows best in locations with hot, dry summers and cold winters. The plant produces starchy white seeds that are edible and are collected in the late summer and early autumn. The seeds may be eaten raw or cooked.
In India, in the northern and western parts of the country, Euryale ferox seeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn and are eaten with a sprinkling of oil and spices. Makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Goddesses during festivals and is used to show reverence. Makhanas are used to make a porridge/pudding called Kheer of Makhana or ‘Makhana Kheer’ .
Makhana represents an outstanding source of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. These seeds are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol and have a substantial amount of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. ~ Wikipedia
The melon is a cooling and nutritious fruit and found in abundance during the summer time in India. Being low in calories and having a high water content, the melon is a refreshing and healthy food. The melon seed is a grayish white hard shell with a white inner kernel, which is soft and oval in shape. The seeds of the melon are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fats and other nutrients. They have a nutty and sweet taste. They can be eaten raw or roasted.
The Peanut or Groundnut is a species in the family Fabaceae, commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family. The peanut is not technically a nut but rather a legume. Peanuts are often referred to as a nut in common English. Peanuts can be eaten raw, used in recipes, made into oils, textile materials, and peanut butter, as well as many other uses.
In the Indian subcontinent, peanuts are known as a light snack by themselves, usually roasted and salted and often sold roasted in pod or boiled with salt. They are also made into little dessert or sweet snack pieces by processing with refined sugar and jaggery. Another use of peanut is as cooking oil.
Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and dietary fiber. They also contain protein in a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.
A healthy namkeen is made by gently tossing the makhana, melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips in ghee with just a sprinkling of salt and red chilli powder.
Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen
100 gms makhana
100 gms peeled melon seeds
100 gms shelled peanuts
100 gms dried potato chips
salt, chilli powder to taste
vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp ghee
1. Dry roast the melon seeds and the peanuts individually in a hot wok.
2. Heat the oil and fry the dried potato chips till they double in size.
3. Cut each makhana into two pieces.
4. Add the ghee in the hot wok and roast the makhana pieces. Add the roasted melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips.
5. Sprinkle salt and chilli powder and stir to coat the mixture.
6. Serve hot or cold.