Tamilian lotus root curry is a fantastic dry curry dish made with lotus roots, moong dal, spices and fresh herbs. Lotus roots are edible and eaten a lot all over Asia. In India they are usually made like curry gravy or as a dry subzi.
Lotus roots are roots of the lotus water lily especially found in abundance in Northern Parts of India, Jammu and Kashmir. The roots are tuberous with large air pockets making them buoyant in water and give the lacy pattern when sliced and has a firm crispy texture. Dishes made with lotus roots are pretty common all over Asia. This is a simple dish and tastes great with Tandoori roti or naan or rice.
In Asian cooking, the lotus rootlets are often pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/or garlic. Lotus roots have a crunchy texture with sweet tangy flavors. It is made into a fantastic salad with prawns, sesame oil and/or coriander leaves. Lotus roots can also be stuffed, fried as chips or even eaten raw in salads. Some creative and innovative cooks even stuff the lotus root canals with a stuffing of their choice, meat or curry spices, and cook them whole in an oven. It can also be added to various meat curries or grated and made into Vegetable Koftas.
The stamens of Lotus can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea called liánhuā cha in of Chinese, or (particularly in Vietnam) used to impart a scent to tea leaves. The lotus seeds or nuts (called liánzĭ, or xian liánzĭ, in Chinese) are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn, phool makhana. They can also be boiled until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to make a tong sui (sweet soup). Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste becomes one of the most common ingredients used in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku, and rice flour pudding. The flavor of lotus root is not strong, and it works well in many different recipes. However, lotus root is a popular ingredient in stir fry because of its crisp texture.
To prepare the Tamilian Lotus root curry, firstly wash the lotus roots and chop them in medium size cubes. Add the lotus root, onion, green chili, moong dal, turmeric powder, chili powder, asafetida, salt and water in a pressure cooker. Cook till the dal and the lotus roots are cooked. Add little oil in a pan or kadai and when the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cooked moong dal and lotus roots mixture and stir well. The Tamilian lotus root curry is ready to be served. Serve with hot cooked rice. This is a very simple dish with less fat and no cholesterol.
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Asian cultures have understood the health benefits of the lotus plant providing since centuries. Every part of the lotus plant is useful, including the root and the seeds. Lotus seeds are often prescribed in Eastern medicine as a digestive aid and they also promote energy and vigor. Lotus seeds are 20 percent protein and a nutritious snack. Lotus roots have been found to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, while very low in saturated fat.
Lotus root has an appearance similar to human lungs, and has long been used to treat numerous respiratory troubles. Respiratory diseases like asthma, coughing and tuberculosis are treated using juice that is removed from the grated lotus root. This juice is taken in small doses, and it is also used to counteract toxins, boost energy and treat heart disease. The health benefits of lotus root include its ability to rid the body of excess mucous. Lotus root tea is recommended to loosen mucous in the lungs and alleviate cough. Lotus root can also benefit the intestines by treating inflammation of the intestine or enteritis.