Thamarai poo vidhai masala – Makhana masala

Last week during the monthly grocery purchase Amma and myself visited a near by department store. As the usual place we go found to be maintained with less cleanliness we thought we could find an alternative. After all the purchase I found a packet of white ball like stuff and when I asked the store staff she said is the pack of lotus seeds. She randomly said that we can use it in a gravy I did not have any clue then but took it home.

After much search in the Internet I could find a gravy or a kheer with those seeds. I manipulated and adapted Valli’s the famous Paneer butter masala and settled down with a spicier version as these seeds looked very bland.

All the gravy recipes I referred to asked for deep frying the seeds in ghee but I did a shallow fry. Even after several minutes I did not find them crisp. And I could not crush it well as the original recipes called for. But added to the gravy as it is.


It tasted yummy and the seeds were chewy after soaking in the gravy. Overall I liked it very much and to my surprise Amma made a soup out of it with carrots added and they said it was a hit among the kids. Will share the recipe once we make it tomorrow (I am yet to see or taste it as its all over by the time I reached home).

And here is the recipe for the Lotus seeds gravy. Its called Makhana in hindi and I am waiting to make the kheer sometime this week!

Lotus seeds gravy


To be ground to a paste :
(1) 1 big onion + 2 pods of garlic + 1 inch of ginger
(2) 3 tomatoes

Other ingredients:
Onion chopped finely – 1
Sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
Chilly powder – 1 tea spoon
Coriander powder – 1 T
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tea spoon (I used 1 T of Eastern masala Pav Baji masala)
Coriander leaves chopped – 1 T
Butter melted – 2 T
Lotus seeds – 20
Ghee – 2 T


How to make it ?

In a small skillet heat the ghee and shallow fry the lotus seeds until crispy in low flame. This will take around 7-10 minutes. Add seeds in batches of 6-7 at a time. Take them out and place them in a paper towel. In the same vessel without removing the remaining ghee fry the chopped onions till they  turn golden and keep it aside. In a wide skillet heat the butter and add ground onion+ginger+garlic paste and saute till the onions are cooked well and the raw smell disappear. Add the chilly+coriander powders and salt and mix well. Now add the pureed tomatoes and cook till the oil separates. Now add the garam masala powder and mix well. Now add the fried onion and the fried lotus seeds and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Garnish with curry and coriander leaves.

Serve hot with crispy dosas or rotis. The lotus seeds turned chewy in the outer and crispy in the inner side which was a delight to bite in.

And these are the Lime meltaways I made for last month’s CLICK.



9 comments on “Thamarai poo vidhai masala – Makhana masala

  1. I made a gravy with these a while ago, and it made for some very funny photographs. These things have been making an appearance for a long time in weddings in my side of the country, we rarely see them otherwise. Usually they are put into a kurma for the pulav.
    Oh I can try that too then Sra 🙂

  2. never tried anything with lotus seeds, sounds wonderful!

  3. Love the looks of that gravy.
    I have seen them in grocery stores too but never bought them. But now I got to give this a try.

  4. wow nimi..always wanted to try makhana..never did..good you liked the pbm

  5. We use a lot of makhanas in the north indian cooking (both savory and desserts). I will try out your recipe as it is typical south indian flavors.

  6. My Ma used to make something with Makhana, not a gravy though. I don’t have distinct memories of it

  7. This is my first comment. I have never cooked anything with lotus seeds. I will try this one for sure, when I get lotus seeds.

  8. Hi

    This is called Makhanas and they are very popular as a snack in Mumbai as well
    You can crisp them just like you would do to mumra/kurmure (used in bhel and chaat)

    You just heat some oil (put a teaspoon of ghee as well, it really enhances the taste) and keeping the gas very low, put in the store bought makhanas, season with salt and pepper, yes pepper, generously and stir them for some minutes so they do not burn

    These are very delicate, like mumra and will burn if the heat is on high or if you do not stir
    They will turn a crispy darker color and you can take them off the heat, let cool for a couple of minutes and they are yummy, crunchy anytime no calorie snack!

    🙂 my granny used to eat this all the time, even after she lost all her teeth 🙂

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