Aloo Kamal Kakdi (Lotus Stem) ki Sabzi
Kamal kakdi or lotus stem (which is also called as bhey or bhasida in some regions) is eaten as a vegetable in northern India however, quite a lot of people are unaware that it can be turned into a delicious dish. Lotus stem is full of fiber, phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It is also believed to have various medicinal qualities, but in macro-nutrient terms it's best to think of it as a starchy vegetable, like potato. Visually of course, it's very appealing with all those little holes. Depending on how long it's cooked, the texture of lotus stem varies from crunchy to very starchy and a little sticky….. I like it either way. It is mostly available all the year round and can vary from 1 feet to 4 feet in length. While buying lotus stem, look for clean, firm light brown stems with smooth unblemished skin. They’re at their best when very fresh, but can be stored when kept immersed in water for 2-3 days.
It is a versatile vegetable which can be thinly sliced or shredded then fried for a crispy garnish, sliced and braised until sweet and tender in soups, stir fried, or sliced, blanched and chilled for an attractive salad addition. It takes well to traditional Asian flavors such as soy, sesame, and ginger as well. The recipe that I am going to share today is my mom’s and has been my ultimate favorite ever since I was a kid, especially with parathas.
- Kamal Kakdi ( Lotus Stem ) - 1 (One feet long)
- Potatoes - 1 big (diced)
- Onions - 1 big
- Curd ( Yogurt / Dahi ) - 1/2 cup (preferably sour)
- Green Chillis - 1
- Oil / Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds ( Jeera ) - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander ( Dhaniya ) Powder - 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder ( Haldi ) - 1/4 tsp
- Red chilli powder ( Lal Mirch ) - 1/4 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
- Salt - As per taste
- Amchoor ( Dry Mango Powder ) - 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Water - 2 cups
1. Thoroughly wash the kamal kakdi and peel it. Cut it into thin slices of height 1-2 mm.
2. Peel the onion and puree it along with the green chilli using a blender.
3. Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and crackle them.
4. Now add the onion puree and sauté till it turns golden brown in colour.
5. Then add the coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric. Sauté for another minute.
6. Add the sliced kamal kakdi and diced potato pieces. Add water, salt and close the lid. Cook it for 5-6 whistles.
7. Once the pressure is released and the lid opens, check that the kamal kakdi slices are cooked. If not (which can be the case sometimes depending on the kamal kakdi), cook for another 1-2 whistles.
8. Whisk the yogurt to the sabzi. Turn on the flame a keep stirring till one boil.
9. If the yogurt is not sour you might need to add some amchoor since the sabzi needs to be slightly 'sour'. You can taste one tsp of the gravy to check this.
10. Now add the garam masala and stir. The curry should have a pleasant 'sourness' while being mildly hot.
11. Serve hot with parathas or rotis.