Monday, July 28, 2014

everyday subzi: bhein ki besan wali subzi | lotus stem curry in a chickpea flour gravy

Lotus stem is called Bhein or Kamal kakdi in Hindi. It is an aquatic vegetable (underwater stem of Lotus) that tastes great whatever way you cook it. I find it to be great for salads, stir fries and curries, very versatile in it's use. Lotus stem is a nourishing vegetables and helps improve hemoglobin count immensely. Abundant Vitamin C helps availability of the minerals (Iron Copper, Zinc, Magnesium), a good range of Vit B complex helps control nervous irritability and an optimum sodium-potassium ratio (1:4) makes this vegetable ideal for electrolyte balance. More nutritional information here.

This bhein ki besan wali subzi was originally shared by a facebook friend Kapil Bahl and I knew I would love it as soon I saw the recipe. I love simple recipes that cook fast and taste great, I adapted the recipe to suit my taste and ease of cooking of course.

This recipe makes a good accompaniment to roti or rice in Indian everyday meals and makes a nice side dish even in elaborate menus. I personally have loved this curry as a stand alone meal mostly. By now you must know I eat my vegetables as my meals.

(serves 2-3)

lotus stem 300 gm (peeled cleaned and sliced)
chopped onions 1/2 cup
minced garlic 2 tsp (or less if you don't like garlic much)
minced ginger 1-2 tsp or as per taste
whole dry red chillies 2-3 broken
chickpea flour (besan) 2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
everyday curry powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp


Boil the sliced lotus stem wit a cup of water and salt (I pressure cooked till the first whistle blew), reserve. This boiled lotus stem can be refrigerated till required, stays well for a couple of days.

Heat the oil in a kadhai and tip in the dry red chillies, add the minced garlic and chopped onions one after the other and fry till translucent. Add the powdered spices and besan and fry for a couple of minutes or till the mixture gets aromatic. Add the minced ginger and the boiled lotus stem along with the water and mix well.

Add more water to get required consistency of the curry and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve ot wit or witout a garnish of copped dhaniya patta (coriander greens).

This curry is a light yet filling dish that can be had with a little rice added to it or as it is like I have it mostly. Bhein ki besan wali subzi tastes great even as a leftover or as a lunch box meal with roti or paratha. Arvind liked it in his lunch box and I make a little dry version of bhein ki besan wali subzi too so it can be packed into the lunch box as well.

This kind of besan wali subzi is made using boiled chickpeas, boiled green peas, boiled gatte or even leftover pakodas too. Try cooking this easy curry with any root vegetables you like and I am sure you would love it too.

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