Makhana Gorgon Nut Raita (Yoghurt)
Makhane ka Raita
Makhane are puffed Gorgon nuts and used quite frequently in Indian cooking, specially to make Desserts. In UK & USA, you can often buy them ready puffed from good India grocers. Serves 4
Makhanas or Gorgon Nut or Fox Nut (Euryale ferox) are the seeds of a plant from lotus family, which has purple flowers not dissimilar to lotus or water lilly flower. This is why they are sometimes confused with and described as puffed lotus seed, which they are not. The plants are cultivated in ponds all over northern India, especially in Bihar. The Makhanas that we use as food are the puffed kernels of the seed pod.
For the Raita:
1 cup makhanas
2 cups yoghurt
1/2 tsp. black salt
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. roasted cumin (coarsely ground)
For the Tarka or Tempering:
1/4 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. red chilli powder
For the Garnish:
1 tbsp. green coriander leaves, chopped
Dry roast the makhane lightly in an oven or dry fry in a wok or karahi.
When cooled, crush coarsely into about 1/4 inch chunks. You can do this by placing them in a kitchen towel and gently beating over it with a rolling pin.
Beat the yoghurt lightly with a fork, with black salt, table salt and roasted cumin seeds. Do not use an electric blender as this makes the yogurt a bit too runny.
Add makhanas to the beaten yogurt and fold them in.
Heat the oil in a tarka pan/ladle. When smoking hot, add the mustard seeds and chilli powder and quickly add to the yogurt. Mix and serve with an Indian meal, garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
You can add a few chopped green chillies also.
Also see:Raita Selection.