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16 February, 2014

Roasted Phool Makhana

Posted in : Appetizers & Snacks on by : Ratna

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Growing  up,  we  have  heard the  expression  “Dev  Anand  Jewel  thief  hai”  many  times.  What  could  be  the  big  deal,  I  often  wondered.  Dev  Anand  (  60s  Bollywood  star )  is  the  Jewel  thief,  goes  the  simple  translation.  It  was only  in  my  teenage  years,  that  my  Mejo  Kakima  trusted  me  with  the  family  secret.

Almost  every  summer  my  Jethamoshai  paid  us  a  visit.  Always  in  a  spotless white  shirt  and  Dhoti, he  frequently  used  his  very  stained  handkerchief  to  wipe  his  nose.  Inspite  of  cleaning  the  nose,  there  always  used  to  be  some  snuff  that  lingered  on  top  of  his  upper  lip,  giving  the  impression  that  he  sported  a  funny  moustache.  I  clearly  remember  the  summer, when  I  was  included  in  the  “elite”  group  in  the  family.  Mejo  Kakima  caught  my  attention,  then  moved  her  eyes  towards  Jethamoshai.  Without  saying  a  word  the  message  was  sent  out  ,  that  the  above  story  was  about  this  man.  I  was  so  proud  of  myself  then,  that  I  was  able  to  interpret  this .

  That   Jethamoshai  was  thrifty  was  common  knowledge.   Popcorn  was  unheard  of   in  movie  theatres  then.  Peanuts  roasted  and  dressed  with  lipsmacking  spices  used  to  be  sold  in  paper  cones.  Costing  not  more  than  a  few  cents,  people  didn’t  think  twice  about  treating  themselves  with  these  snacks.    Moong  Phali,  Moong  Phali   is  all  you  heard  during  intermission. The  story  goes  that  Jethamosai  went  to  theatres  to  watch  the  movie  “Jewel  Thief”  once. The  hawker  tried  his  best  to  persuade  my  Jethamoshai  to  buy  some  peanut  snacks..  It  didn’t  work.  Jethamoshai  did  not  budge.  The  hawker  then  decided  to  punish  him.  It  was  a  thriller  movie,  the  story  had  just  climaxed, everybody  was  eager  to  know  the  end  of  the  story. After  all  who  could  the  Jewel  thief  be  ?  Just  when   you  couldn’t  leave  your  seat,  and  wished  they  wouldn’t  even  stop  for  intermission.     Then,  at  that  moment  the  hawker  in  a  hushed  voice  spitted  those  few  words  “Dev  Anand  Jewel  thief  hai”,  in  my  Jethamoshai’s  ears  and  walked  off.  The  smooth  talking,  lead  actor  with  a  boyish  face,  was  in  fact  the  thief.  There….

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Phool  Makhana  is  not  popcorn,  neither  is  it  sold  in  cinemas.  It  is in  fact  Lotus  seed  that  when  roasted,  puffs  up  just  like  the  popcorns  do.  It  is  also  known  as  Foxnut  or  Euryale  Ferox.   With  a  few  sprinkle  of  your  favourite  spices,  you  can  have  the  same  crunch  with  quite  a  few  health  benefits .  An  excellent  source  of  protein  and  calcium,  it  is  also  known  to  restore  the  body’s  vigour  and  delays  aging.

If  you  are  watching  the  Dufour-Lapointe   sisters  in  the  women’s  Moguls  skiing  event  in  Sochi  Olympics, or  Deepika  Padukone  in  the  Filmfare  awards,   keep  a  few  papercones  filled  with  Phool  makhana,  within  arm’s  reach.  You  might  even  be  looking  for  more.

Extra  butter  anybody?

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Recipe:

Ingredients;

Phool  makana               One  packet  50  gms

Sea  salt                        To  taste

Turmeric  powder          One  fourth  tsp

Chilli  powder               One  fourth  tsp  (  Use  your  discretion  )

Cilantro                        One  tsp  finely  chopped.

Ghee                           One  tbsp

Chaat  masala             One  fourth  tsp

Lemon  juice                Half  tsp  (  optional  )

Method;

Take  ghee  on  a  frying  pan,  on  medium  heat.  When  the  ghee  melts  add  the  Phool  makhana,  saute  on  low  to  medium  heat  for  about  eight  to  ten  minutes. Throw  in  the  turmeric  and  chilli  powder,  sea  salt.  Put  the  gas  off.  Try  a  couple  when  its  not  too  hot.  It  should  be  crunchy  all  through  and  not  hard  inside. If  it  still  feels  hard  inside  saute  for  a  couple  minutes  more.  Add  the  cilantro,  chaat  masala   and  a  squeeze  of  lemon  juice,  if  you  prefer.

Make  papercones  and  stuff  these  inside.

Inside  Scoop:

Jethamoshai          Dad’s  elder  brother.

Mejo  Kakima         Dad’s  second  brother’s  wife.

Phool  makhana  is  available  in  Indian  grocery  stores.

By Ratna

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