19 June, 2008

Puffy & Creamy: Phool Makhani Curry


Phool Makhani Curry

Blogging has its own advantage. I was used to cooking same food with same ingredients before I started blogging. I must admit that the time I am referring goes back to the era of me being a novice cook and I was not in a position to identify and differentiate one ingredient from other, especially when it came to lentils and flours. There were times when I mistook channa dal for toor dal and ended up using fine rice flour in place of maida to make Naan. And horrors of horror when I ended up using all that expensive Basmati rice in preparing Dosa batter, fit for one small army to feed, back in India. It’s a different story that I use Basmati rice quite often to make Dosa batter as they are much cheaper than Idli and Dosa rice we get here.

It’s since I started posting recipes in my blog that I learnt numerous recipes from different part of the world and discovered new ingredients which were unheard of while growing up. My Amma is an exceptional cook who even today fascinates me with her innovative recipes using rarest of ingredients. Fortunately I am like her when it comes to experimenting with ingredients and learning new recipes., just moving little away from comfort zone. Food blog world is one such place where you get to see and learn something unique every single day. Everyday I go through fascinating and adventurous journey of innovation in cooking with rare ingredients and I must say I am enjoying it thoroughly.

But there are sometimes when I get recipe requests from readers of Monsoon Spice with few ingredients which I have never tried or tasted. Some time back I received a recipe request from one of the readers to post Phool Makahni aka Puffed Lotus Seeds recipe. Till then I was not that familier with lotus seeds and I had no idea that there was puffed lotus seeds just like puffed rice or pop corns. Yes, they do look like pop corns and I felt to some extent they did taste like one especially when they are deep fried. Before I knew, I ended up eating half a cup of fried phool makhani sprinkled with little chilli powder and salt and had to fry little more for the curry. I had to stop myself from popping few more puffed lotus seeds and proceed into making this delicious Phool Makhani Curry.

This is a recipe I put together from various recipes found all over the web world. Most of the recipes had three things in common, coconut, cashews and poppy seeds. And all the recipes asked I deep fry these Phool Makhani before adding it to base gravy. But next time I am going to pan fry these puffed lotus seeds with little oil till they turn golden to reduce little amount of fat and calorie. And one more thing lesson I learnt is to buy extra pack of these puffed lotus seeds just to eat with little sprinkle of salt and pepper ;) In the end we had this delicious tasting bowl of curry which was creamy from addition of coconut, poppy seeds and cashews with touch of little spice notes to it from aromatic whole spices and spice powder used. Fried Phool Makhani, which is quite crisp when deep fried, transforms into melt-in-mouth creamy delight when added to the base gravy is one whole new experience we really enjoyed. This is my entry for Kayln's WHB guest hosted by Joanna.

Phool Makhani Curry (Puffed Lotus Seeds Cooked in a Spiced and Creamy Coconut Gravy)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Serves: 4-5

2-3 cups Phool Makhani/Puffed Lotus Seeds
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional)
1-2 tbsp Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
Small bunch of Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil + Oil for Deep Frying
Salt to taste

Ground to Smooth Paste:
½-¾ cup Coconut, fresh/frozen
1 tbsp Cashews
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds/Khus-Khus, dry roasted till light golden
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
3 Green Cardamoms
1 inch Ginger, peeled
Phool Makhani/Puffed Lotus Seeds

Deep fry phool makhani in heated oil till it turns light golden brown in colour and place them on paper towel to drain excess oil.
Grind cashews, roasted poppy seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and coconut to smooth paste adding little water at time.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add finely chopped onion and sauté till they turn golden brown.
Mix in ground paste and keep stirring for about 4-5 minutes till the masala paste turns light brown in colour and becomes dry.
Now add finely chopped tomatoes, garam malasa, kitchen king masala, sugar and give it a good stir till tomatoes turn pulpy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add around 1½-2 cups of water and mix in salt to taste. Cook this gravy on medium-low heat for about 10 mins, stirring in between.
Now add fried phool makhani and mix well. You can add little more water if needed depending on required consistency of the gravy. Cook on low heat for another 3-5 minutes. Mix in finely chopped coriander leaves and serve this delicious Phool Makhani Curry with roti, chapatti or rice of your choice.

Phool Makhani Curry

Phool Makhani takes very few minutes to absorb all that gravy and turns into creamy delight. So add it to the gravy just five minutes before you switch off the gravy.
Although this time I deep fried these puffed lotus seeds I would suggest you to try pan frying them in batches with very little oil till it turns light golden if you want to restrict fat and calorie content.
You can also serve these fried Puffed lotus seeds with little sprinkle of salt and chilli powder.

Reminder (Just 6 more days remaining):

MBP-Street Food ends on 24th of June, 2008. Start patrolling the blogs and cook your favourite Street Food that your tummy begs and heart desires and spread link love.

Deadline: 24th June, 2008

Please go through the guidelines and include all the required information in your post and mail when sending me your entry. Don't forget to add Your Name, Your Blog Name, Name of the Dish you cooked, Perm Link of the entry, Perm Link of original recipe along with the gorgeous Photo of final dish.

Click Here or on the logo to find out more information on this event.


  1. I have never made anything woth lotus seed.
    Curry looks delicious.
    I have posted something for MBP, wil send you the mail with the details tonight

  2. WOW.... that was a decadent makhani curry. Looks so cool. YUM! so different.

  3. Dear Sia

    I really like this curry using the Makhane..as we call it in North India..I made it just today but just roasted it with a tiny amount of ghee and sprinked salt and pepper..Its one of the fav snacks of my hubby!!


  4. I have seen those lotus seeds many times in Indian store but didn't know what to do with them. I will have to try this sometime.

  5. Phool? Never tried these ever so far.I have to see if I get them in here. I go to Indian store once in 2 or 3 mnts, it's about 100miles away but there is a small store nearby!
    Looks good Sia, like Koftas in gravy!:)

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Hi sia,
    Nice gravy,but i found one unusual thing,i.e frying makhaney,coz i haven't heard of frying these.
    The way we make these phool makhaney is very different.We don't fry them,just when the gravy is ready,we simmer these makhaney for few minutes
    We make it with potatoes and macroni ,and they do taste ok,so i used to substitute these with peas.but now ,i will try to utilise the whole stock of makhaney,this way.....thnks for gr8 variation!

  8. Wow, today looking at ur recipe i came to know about the puffed white round ball i used to see in any Indian store !!
    Never knew what to make of it :) !!
    Thank you Sia !!
    Shall try this recipe !! Looks yummy!! Nice pic Dear :) !!

  9. Never seen lotus seeds before, but the curry is so creamy and should have tasted so different :)

  10. Never tried lotus seeds before! The curry looks amazing, Sup! The khukhus-cashew-coconut combo sounds heavenly! Beautiful photos, as always!:)

  11. Puffed Lotus Seeds.....thanks to your post, i came to know that such a thing exists!! :) three cheers to blogging :) curry looks quite rich and creamy!

  12. phoo makhani means puffed lotus seeds!!! Thank You so much for your great information.
    very tempting recipe.

  13. ohh i have had these in office in hyderabad, never knew they were puffed lotus seeds. wow! nice recipe

  14. hi
    happy to inform u that i have added ur blog to my blogroll.

  15. Amazing - I never dreamt of such a thing ... thanks for sharing


  16. Hey Sia agree with you that bloggibng has its own impact and all those supid mistakes we sed to make.. I hv tasted payasa out of it this is a new dish for me and i bet anything with coconut will taste nice :)

  17. Sia, I tasted Lotus seeds from a friend's lunch box the other day. Puffed Lotus Seeds now :) I have to find if I can find them at my favorite store.
    The curry looks rich and creamy and ofcourse delicious.

  18. I haven't cooked with this ingredient either...gorgeous gravy :-)

  19. sia..that looks great..I have not seen this before..so nice knowing abt it...would've been great if you had taken a long shot..just to know their size..:))..thanks for sharing and teaching me something new today!..

  20. Wonderful curry...very different never tasted lotus seeds b4 looks lovely

  21. Seen these but never knew what to make using them..Thanks to your recipe I shall also try fry it, sprinkle with chilli and salt and eat :)

  22. WOW OOOhhh am just drooling here thats some really mouthwatering dish. Nice Presantaion and I love pics. Bookmarked it and am sure gonna try it.

  23. puffed lotus seeds - hmmmm - i wonder if ordinary lotus seeds can be puffed in the oven like pop corn. will experiment.

  24. A great curry,I had heard about it but never tried.A great curry indeed and lovely write up.
    Lovely pictures too.

  25. Sia, at one time, in AP, this routinely made an appearance in weddings - considered an accompaniment for pulao. And it was one of those things we saw only at weddings, you know, never anywhere else, not even in restaurants. I quite liked it. The roasted makhane are nice too!

  26. Hi Sia
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog.I havent made anything with lotus seeds.Looks different.

  27. You've been coming up with nice combinatins, Sups! Almost picked lotus roots but hubby made a face :D I'll look for lotus seeds next time, never seen it here.

  28. sia, thts a nice yummy makhane wali recipe ... have marked it to try out
    the story with makhane is the same everywhere i guess ... its so tasty just roasted with a little ghee, salt and red chilly powder; 2 packs are required to make sure some remains for the curry ;)

  29. I love these, we call them full patasha, but we do not fry them. I have a recipe in draft and will post it soon, I did not know they are lotus seeds.

    Love this recipe and will try it and let u know.

  30. these look so pretty Sia!! where did you find these flowers?? I've NEVER seen them:) the curry looks rich and creamy..gotta get my hands on these lotus flowers!!:)

  31. hi sia...i have never eaten lotus seeds b4...this is very very new to me...looks really good..excellent post :)

  32. this recipe is new to me...nevr tried lotus seeds...ur curry looks tempting....is lotus seeds chewy like the one v get as soya chunks?

  33. WOW this is very new to me. oh curry looks awesome Sia. can't wait to try. Lovely entry!!!

  34. Ohh, never knew Phool Makhani is used this way. Always thgt its a spice, duhhh...Ur curry looks just gorgeous Sia !!

  35. wow, never heard of lotus seeds before. looks delicious.

  36. Awesome recipe! It is a jhatpat kofta curry without the fuss of making kofta. I am sure it will be a party pleaser. Will try this soon

  37. Wow, I have never heard of this before. Now my eyes will definitely be on the lookout for this ingredient when I go for groceries next time! Your Curry looks delicious and appetizing, Sia!

  38. never knew makhane ki sabzi bhi banti hai .... bookmarked... coz i love fried or roasted makhane...

    ok ji i have a small something for you in my blog.. come over and check it :)

  39. Aah.. so that's a puffed lotus seed.. I've seen this in stores before but didn't know what it was - now I do, thanks to you :)

    Have sent in an entry for MBP - street food... hope you got the mail. Thx Sia.

  40. Makhani looks delicious Sia. I never tried this Makhani before. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Check my blog for surprise.

  41. I was thinking the same thing today. The world of blogging is such a wonderful and educational resource. I remember eating curry with phool in Calcutta but I'd totally forgotten about them!

  42. Sia, I can't tell you how much I love the photo of the lotus seed plain. WOW!

    Did you find Lera's recipe when you were looking? I used that one the only time I made a dish with these -- and you are so right -- they have a popcorn aroma when heated! I did not deep fry -- I think they taste just as good dry roasted even, if they'll be drenched in your yummy sauce :)

  43. I keep seeing this on the supermarket shelves but never thought of buying some. I definitely will next time.

  44. Looks delicious! The only catch is anything with Makhana is usually heavy. I guess they absorb a lot of oil during cooking.

  45. Hi sia,
    Hey congratulations to u too,for winning the award
    And do let me know how shimla mirch turned up after baking..though i don't have an oven yet,but it wud be helpful for others to know baked version !
    Thanks for ur comments dear....U just made my day!

  46. puffed lotus seeds? Wow, you are right, blogging does expand your knowledge quite a bit... I have never seen those..... The gravy looks delicious!

  47. wow!
    Looks great!
    I must try this...

  48. Check out my entry for Bottle gourd recipes!

  49. Looks wonderful, Sia! I've never tried using lotus seeds before... They look so puffy and delicate!! :)

  50. Your post made me pick up a pack of makhana from the indian store and i cooked it last night...it was delicious....had a restaurant style look and feel to the dish. Thank you for sharing this recipe. We enjoyed it with chappathi :)


  51. hi, we get dried lotus seeds pack in the chinese stores here. is it ok to use it directly for making the recipe you have given? or should it be soaked in water for some time?

  52. @Jery,
    I have never used dried lotus seeds Jery, so i may not be the right person to answer. but i checked few websites which said u need to soak them in water for few mins. please google for more info.

  53. Hi,

    I am Prathiba Rao from The indian food court. You have a wonderful blog with vow recipes. I just want to know what is a lotus seed??????? Please an alternate English word for the same???????? or a Kannada or a Konkani word for it. Thanks a lot.

  54. Hey Suppi,
    I never knew you blog so well and that too you blog about receipes!

    Just loved your blog site and your receipes.
    Today Venki will have to deal with this phool Makhani curry for he has picked 2 packs of it. I didnt know what to do and this blog has really helped me!

    Thanks suppi and love to krish!


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