Lotus Stem is edible and is used in Cuisines of China Japan and even India. In Hindi we call it Kamal Kakdi and even Bhein. It is not a very Popular vegetable but I have been eating this since a little kid as my mother make sit very often. But on the other hand my in laws have no taste for this. My mother makes this with Potatoes as a curry and also makes small dumplings by grating them and mixing with chickpea flours. Those dumpling are then deep friend and added to the gravy. 

As a little girl I used to eat those dumplings as soon as she finished them frying. Such glorious days they were when you never had to worry about those calories. But you know what I still popped a few dumplings in my mouth when I made them for this post. Fortunately this time they were air fried and I wasn’t feeling guilty about it.

1.  Foremost thing, selecting the right lotus stem requires bit of a skill. Firstly, they should be fresh and tender and the colour should be as whitish as possible, the stale ones turn black. Secondly, the stems should be closed from both the ends. If you find them open on one end or broken or bruised from centre, it might be holding a lot of grit and cleaning it will be crazy. Wash and scrape off the skin of lotus stem and cut the ends. Wash again after cutting the sides. You can even use the frozen ones you get at Asian markets. Thaw them before use.




2. Grate the lotus stem in a bowl. Also grate two potatoes with it.



3. Add to the grated vegetables some chickpea flour and  salt.



4. Also add red chili powder, turmeric powder and Anardana or dry Pomegranate powder (not in pictures).



5.  Add chopped green chilies and Coriander seeds.



6. Mix everything with your hands so that it starts to stick together You are looking for a thick batter like consistency. You can add a tsp of besan to make the batter thicker. You don’t need water as the lotus stem and potatoes will have enough water to bind it together.


7. Make small balls, smaller than golf sized balls. Place them on a tray.



8. Preheat your Air Fryer on 200 degree celsius for 10 minutes. Or you can heat oil in wok if you want them oil fried.

8. Place them in the bucket of the Air fryer and brush with oil from top.  Air fry them for 18-20 minutes or till golden brown. You can change sides in half time. You can always deep fry them in oil if you dont care about the calories, I will not judge you 😛 I tried doing both to see the difference in taste. They both were fabulous.



9. Place them on a tray lined with absorbent Paper which will absorb all the extra oil from the koftas and make them more crispier.

10. For the gravy place tomatoes, ginger garlic and red chilies in a blender and make a smooth puree.



11. In a wok or pressure pan add Ghee or clarified butter. Add Cumin seeds and let them crackle.



12.  Add tomato puree and salt.



13. Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder and let it reduce till you see ghee separating the masala.




14. Soak Cashews in water for an hour and grind them into smooth paste. Add the paste to the masala and combine.



15. Add little water and let it simmer for 5 minutes till the gravy is thickened. 


16. Add koftas and continue to simmer or another 5 minutes or till the koftas have absorbed some of the gravy.


17. Finish with Garam Masala, Fresh Cream and Fresh Coriander Leaves.


18. Serve hot with Roti, Naan or Parantha.

Other recipes from my Mother’s kitchen you can try are: Aloo Methi Punjabi Style, Bharwan Tinda, Stuffed Karela, Kadhi Chawal, Touri Vadi.


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Swanjhane ke phool or drumstick flowers as it is known in English are bitter flowers available at this time of the year. These are also known as Moringa flowers, sahjan k phul, swanjhra gulah and are widely popular in Sindhi Cuisine. My mother being a punjabi makes this amazing dish which is known in lessor households, rather not a lot of people know that these flowers can be cooked. When I made this last time my parents in law tried it for the very first time. 

This is my favourite dish and I yearn to eat this whenever these flowers are in season and I am at my mother’s place. I haven’t been able to perfect this recipe but this is the exact recipe she follows. I think its the addition of love which makes it more delicious. Many people dislike this because they complain of being very bitter. But my mom’s recipe makes it neutral and delicious. You must try it out. It has that earthy taste which makes it simply delicious. 


1. When you buy the flowers and buds of drumstick just ensure it doesn’t have any unwanted stems. 



2. Boil some water in a pot and add salt.



3. When the water comes to a boil add the flowers and let it cook for a minute and then turn the flame off.



4. Close the lid and let it sit overnight or 8 to 9 hours. This will take out the bitterness out of the flowers.


5. After soaking for 8 hours this is how it will look. The water will become brown.


6. Now drain the flowers and  put them under running water.




7. Put the flowers back in the pot and add fresh water.


8. Keep boiling it for 20-25 minutes till the flowers are soft and cooked. You can take a flower and try to mash it with your fingers.*



9. Drain the flowers using a colander.



10. Squeeze out extra water using your hands. It will mash up the flowers but its okay. You can do it in batches.


11. Keep them aside on a plate. In the meanwhile chop some onions, tomatoes and green chilies for the temper.




 12. In a wok add some ghee or clarified butter,


 13. Add peas and cook them for five to seven minutes till they become soft and crunchy.

14. Add chopped onions and saute them till they become transparent and little brown.


15. At this  stage add chopped tomatoes and green chilies. And cook till tomatoes are softened.


16. Add salt and red chili powder.


17. Cook for five minutes or until the oil begins to separate.


18, Add boiled and drained flowers and mix.


19. Cover it with a fitting plate and let it cook on low flame for five minutes.


20. Sprinkle some Garam Masala.


Serve hot with Rotis.

You can try other recipes from my Mother’s Kitchen like Tori Wadiyan, Bharwan Karela, Besan Kaddi Pakora, Aloo Methi, Gobhi Danthal, Dal Makhni.


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My mother is an incredible cook and the credit goes to her for taming me and making a good cook out of me. I learnt to cook out of need and never out of interest. But gradually that need became an enjoyment and lately a passion.



Last year when my parents visited me in Mexico, I made Kaddhi Chawal for dinner one night. Needless to say this recipe is my mom’s most famous recipe. When she started eating she paused and said “I cant say if its made by you or me”. That was the biggest compliment from my guru. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy.


1. Add all the ingredients for kaddi (not tadka) in a blender and add add only 1/4 of water and run the mixer to form a lump free liquid.



2. Pour this mixture in a large pot (ensure its very deep because on boiling it can spill) and add rest of the water.


3. Turn on the flame and let it boil for about 25-30 minutes. You must keep stirring it every minute and reduce the flame every now and then to stop the kaddhi flowing off the pot. Don’t be like me 😛 keep an eye on it. You can put it on high flame again and likewise keep repeating till about half an hour. Once you feel the kaddhi is cooked turn off the flame. The consistency of kaddhi will become less dense as the kaddhi cooks.



4.  In a skillet/ pan add oil and let it heat for a minute and then add mustard seeds and cumin . Let it splatter for another half a minute. Ensure you do not over cook otherwise the taste changes.


5. Add Fresh kaddi patta and cook for additional half a minute. I do not have the luxury to have fresh kaddi patta in Mexico so i use dried coarsely ground kaddhi patta. It doesnt taste as strong as fresh leaves but something is better than nothing.


6. Add garlic and green chili and cook till garlic starts turning golden brown.


7. Now add this tempering on top of your kaddhi in the pot. Garnish with chopped coriander and garam masala. Keep aside.



8. For the pakora or fritters, in a frying pan pour oil and let it heat.In the meanwhile mix besan, onions, chilli, salt, red pepper powder and water to form a paste. It should not be very liquid.


9.  With a spoon pour the mixture in heated oil to make fritters. Ensure you make small and thin fritters or  pakora for kaddhi as they will not absorb a lot of kaddhi and there will be enough liquid.


10. Once you fry the fritters turning both sides till they acquire golden colour remove them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.


11.  Put these pakoras/fritters in kaddhi and heat it for a couple of minutes.Your Besan Kaddhi is ready! Serve with Rice and enjoy !

Other popular and Lip smacking dishes from Punjabi Cuisine are: Bharwan Karela, Dal Makhani, Langar wali dal, Bharwan Tinda, Butter Chicken .


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