Lotus stem warm salad is something I keep stirring up quite often. I find salads made with lotus stem slices quite filling and satiating apart from being utterly delicious. Yes I have tried simple stir fried lotus stem with salt and pepper too and have found it great for my taste. This lotus stem and chicken sausage stir fry salad with soy honey glaze is a hot favourite and a lotus stem stir fry with sweet and sour sauce and another lotus stem stir fry with spring onions is a regular too.
Apart from being an extremely healthy vegetable, lotus stem is incredibly tasty too. One can cook them with s spicy Indian curry, an Oriental stir fry or a Kashmiri style curry with or without knol khol or turnips added. If you have been reading my blogs for some time you would know that I stock lotus stems always in my fridge.
Many people don't buy lotus stem as they find it difficult to clean it. Finding good quality lotus stem is not tough if you know how to spot the freshest ones. Look for the brightest looking sticks in this case.
Try and find fresh unblemished Lotus stem preferably locally grown as that ensures the freshness. The freshly cut end of a lotus stem should ooze a little milky exudation and should be creamy white in colour. Do not buy if the pores look dirty as it will be a big hassle to clean it properly.
You need to discard the brown ends and peel the skin using a potato peeler. Take care not to peel too hard as half the lotus stem will be wasted that way.
lotus stem sliced in half moons or as convenient 2 cups
red onion sliced 1/2 cup
chopped garlic 1 tsp
ginger julienne 1 tbsp
dry red chillies broken 2-3 or to taste
star anise petals broken 1 tsp
tamarind pulp 1 tbsp (freshly made, 1 tsp if using thick ready made paste)
soy sauce 1 tbsp
grated jaggery 1 tsp
black pepper powder (optional)
sesame oil 2 tsp or 1 tbsp
Heat the oil and tip in the star anise petals, garlic and broken red chillies. Let them sizzle first and then add the sliced lotus stems. Stir fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes and then add salt to taste. Mix well.
Add the sliced onions and ginger julienne. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Mix the tamarind pulp with soy sauce, grated jaggery and black pepper powder (if using) and pour into the pan. Mix well and let the lotus stem slices coat well.
Serve warm or at room temperature. This is something we can't take our hands off, it is so addictive you would finish the plate as it is. Add a few roasted peanuts and it would make a complete meal. We had it as a starter the other day followed by a nice grilled fish.
This warm salad with lotus stem could be a great accompaniment to any noodle or rice meal that you plan for an oriental dinner.
One of those dull looking but yummy dishes that you keep repeating for the ease of cooking and the taste.