Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--11-56-23

Makhana

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

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Melon Seeds

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.

2015-18-3--12-03-17

Peanut

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.

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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.

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Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

Ingredients ~

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

Method ~

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.

 

Kuttu Paneer Pakora

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--12-06-17

Kuttu or Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed, therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to blood sugar control. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones. It  is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.

2015-18-3--12-09-17

Singhara or Water Chestnut is a fruit therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It can be eaten raw, boiled or as flour, after drying and grinding. Singhara is indigenous to India and used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Singhara is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat. It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles and protects from UV rays. It helps to prevent sugar,ulcer, gout and heart diseases and is used for treating diarrhoea, dysentery, thyroid problem, swelling and bronchitis. It contains iodine, manganese and other minerals that help in proper functioning of thyroid.

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Paneer or Cottage Cheese is a fresh cheese made by curdling hot milk by adding lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt to separate the curds from the whey. The whey is separated by hanging the curds in a muslin cloth and the resulting cheese is called paneer.

Paneer is a source of protein for vegetarian people and helps to fulfill their protein need of the body. It has a high level of calcium and phosphorus which helps in building strong bones and teeth. It also  has Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids which help in fighting rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in paneer helps in lowering the body weight. It also has high level of dietary fibres which help in digestion by improving the metabolism. It has high levels of  vitamin B and enhances blood formation, assists in more nutrients absorption by the body and strengthens the liver.

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Kuttu and Singhara flour do not contain gluten and are low on the glycaemic index. Thus, they help in releasing slow energy when eaten during religious fasts. Both flours have high nutritional value and so are perfect for breaking fasts. Paneer is a high protien food and provides instant energy.

2015-17-3--07-03-40

Kuttu  Paneer Pakora

Ingredients ~

1 cup kuttu flour/atta
1/3 cup singhara flour/atta
250 gms paneer/cottage cheese
salt, red chilli powder, ajwain to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Cut the paneer into batons or cubes.
2. Soak the paneer in water and add salt. This helps in adding the salt flavour to the paneer itself.
3. Mix both the kuttu and the singhara flour.
4. Add the salt, red chilli powder and the ajwain to the flour. Spread on a plate.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
6. Take the paneer and roll it in the dry atta mixture.
7. Cook in the hot oil till crisp.
8. Can be eaten hot or cold. Serve with Imli Chutney, Raita, Fruit Chaat.