Lotus Roots anyone???? This was my latest pick from Indian store, which was quick frozen, packed and branded under Swad Frozen Foods. Kamal Kakri or Lotus roots are native to Kashmir and have been used in a variety of their preparations. Fresh roots are deep fried, some added to curries and soups. These roots are loaded with Vitamin C and good source of fiber with low saturated fat. They don't have any flavour as such but very good at getting intensified with whatever infused to them. So this is branded flavourless thick stalks or stems, thus making them versatile for any preparation. Only disadvantage… they take a lot time to get cooked and even after cooking never turns mushy, turns tender but retains the shape, only pressuring cooking for 3 whistles will make them mushy.
My idea is to give them little life by adding it to my flavourful kaara Kuzhambu. Making Kuzhambu just with plain roots will be very blunt tasting.. so throw in some veggies of your choice or even seafood. My pick for this recipe will be shrimp.
Kaara Kuzhambu / Kulambu / Kolambu / Era Kuzhambu / Shrimp / Meen / Kamal Kakri / Lotus Stem / Rhizome / Lotus Root Curry / Lotus Stem Curry
|10 nos||Lotus root cuts|
|2 nos||Onion ( finely chopped)|
|2 nos||Tomato (diced)|
|3 clove||Garlic (crushed)|
|1 cup||Choice of veggie or seafood|
|1 no||Green chili|
|¼ tsp||Turmeric powder|
|1 tsp||Red chili powder|
|3 tsp||Coriander /dhania powder|
|1 pinch||Sugar or 1/4 tsp jaggery|
|6 nos||Curry leaves|
|3 tsp||Tamarind juice (or thick store bought pulp 1/4 tsp)|
|1½ tsp||Salt (or to taste)|
|2 stks||Coriander leaves (chopped for garnishing)|
Cooking Lotus Roots: In order to steam them you need to either boil or pressure cook. Boiling over stove top in a pot of water could take 20 to 25 minutes over medium flame. Pressure cooking takes 2 whistles to make them tender. I've chosen to boil along with the kuzhambu ingredients to blend the flavour.
For Kuzhambu: Heat oil in a sauce pan, splutter mustard, cumin and curry leaves. Sprinkle asafoetida and add chopped onions, green chili and garlic. Fry them till translucent, add chopped tomatoes, lotus root cuts and veggies. Add 1 cup of water, turmeric and bring it to a boil. Simmer covered for the next 20 minutes or until the lotus roots turn tender. (a knife inserted should come out easily and that's the indication that they are cooked). If you think the other veggies could turn mushy cooking along then add them during last 5 minutes. I've included shrimp for my Kuzhambu and added along with tomatoes.
When its done add, red chili powder, coriander powder, sugar/jaggery, tamarind juice and salt. Simmer until the gravy thickens or oil separates on top. Always simmer over low flame to avoid burning. Garnish with corainder leaves and serve with plain rice.
You can also substitute red chili powder and coriander powder with 3 tsp of Kuzhmabu podi.
If you are making this for a big family, add little corn starch mixed in water to thicken and increase the quantity.
Yield: Serve 3 to 4 Adults approx.
Frozen lotus root cuts are available in Indian Stores. Fresh stems are available in most Chinese markets.