I have always loved food 😀 . I have always loved eating. I have always enjoyed exploring and knowing about food. Now I love experimenting more with living foods / real food and our traditional food and the traditional way of cooking.
I came across this nice book “First Food – A Taste of India’s Biodiversity” which is trying to celebrate the knowledge and culture of our local cuisine which is now being forgotten. The first food that the book talks about is Makhana. And it just connected me back to my childhood. I come from Bihar where it has been widely grown in the wetlands. We used to roast it and have as evening snacks. I remember Makhana was eaten during fasts also in form of kheer.
Makhana (foxnut) is the seed of a member of water -lily family. The plant grows in the lakes and ponds that once made up the floodplains of north India. These water bodies were crucial for survival in this region. The ecosystem was built by channelling the water of swollen rivers into ponds. This took away the pain of the flood. It provided for storage of water and , in turn, recharged groundwater, giving economic life to agriculture. And most importantly, the wetland gave alternative sources of food and one of which is protein rich makhana. Once the wetlands are gone, the plant will not survive. Our source of food will be lost. One more taste will be forgotten.
Its wonderful to see the connection between what we used to eat and why we ate it. We did make nature part of our lives and we need to make nature part of our lives again.
Makhana is easy to digest and nutritious food.
My mother had brought 2-3 packets of Makhana when she had last visited us and I had forgotten about it. So I took it out and experimented by making Makhane ka Parantha which went well with a coriander chutney. Its simple to make and has a very mild taste.
Roast Makhana. It should roast properly. Do not burn it. Once it is roasted, powder it. Boil one potato for a cup of makhana powder. Mash potato and knead with makhana powder. Mix salt and chopped chillies. Add chopped coriander leaves. Make balls from the dough. Roll out as chapatis and cook on tawa till sufficiently brown.