Cooking With Lotus Roots

While on a recent trip to the Asian market to buy ingredients for sushi (my current obsession - more on that later in another post!), my husband spotted a packet of lotus stems or lotus roots. 

Lotus roots in Indian style yogurt soup (kadhi) is a childhood dish we grew up eating. The roots looked just as I remembered them and my curiosity peaked enough to grab a packet in my shopping cart.
Stir-fried lotus roots
It turns out that the terms lotus roots and lotus stems are used quite interchangeably - but they are the same thing, circular inner parts of lotus under water adorned with beautiful pattern as only what nature can make! 

They can be boiled, sauteed, stir-fried - very versatile. They are also super rich in anti-oxidants. They are very mild in taste - which make them an ideal blank canvas to add any flavorings in.

I decided to cook it two ways. First the traditional Marathi way of boiling it with Kadhi and serving with rice. The second was a stir-fry. It just felt like they were made for stir-fry with that super beautiful shape and crunchy texture! My personal favorite was the stir-fry; next time I'll cook them with spring peas, mushrooms and some greens and season with soy sauce & vinegar.

Lotus roots stir fry:
Prepare lotus roots by boiling them in water for 5mins. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or non-stick pan, when hot, add lotus roots, seasoning of choice (I added few pinches of my go-to everyday seasoning which is a blend of many common spices), salt & pepper. Cook on high heat for a minute or two. Transfer to a plate. Add lemon juice, serve with rice, add to salads or just munch on their own!

Kadhi with lotus roots:
Prepare lotus roots by boiling them in water for 5mins. Drain and set aside. 
Meanwhile, mix 4C yogurt with 2 Tbsp besan, mix well. Then add enough water for desired kadhi consistency. Set aside.

In a big pot, heat 1tsp oil. Add 1tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafoetida powder, few curry leaves, 1Tbsp freshly grated ginger and saute for one minute. Then add 1/2tsp turmeric powder, followed by yogurt mixture, salt to taste and let cook on low flame until kadhi starts gently boiling. Add cooked lotus stems and boil for a few more mins.

Serve with rice and ghee! 
Lotus Roots Kadhi (Indian Yogurt Soup)


Nupur said…
Lotus roots are indeed so beautiful. I've never cooked with them but now I want to!
PJ said…
Hi Nupur, highly recommend it! They are so versatile - I found them in Asian market vegetable aisle.. I believe there is also a frozen version.