air fryer recipes : lemon-pepper-mint roasted makhana recipe
Makhana is Foxnuts or Gorgon nuts, the seeds of Euryale ferox, an aquatic plant that bears spiny fruits with black seeds. The seeds are popped to make makhana or foxnuts. Note that makhana or phool makhana as they are called colloquially in India, is not the same as lotus seeds. Lotus seeds are used for making a delicious halwa that I shared earlier.
Makhana makes wonderful raita, curries and even halwa but the most common usage is to make dry snacks with it. The caramelised makhana is quite a favourite in my home and we use it in our parfaits too but the salted snacks with makhana is more of an everyday chai time munchy.
Earlier we used to make roasted makhana in a thick base Kadhai by slow roasting it with a little ghee and then adding salt, pepper and other flavouring of choice. But now that I have been using my air fryer for roasting nuts and many other foods, this method has become the most favoured as one doesn’t need to monitor it closely while it roasts.
Roasted mint and lemon pepper makhana is so delicious that has been an instant hit with kids and adults alike in my home. Only one little girl said that she doesn’t like makhana because it tastes like Styrofoam balls and that made me think it really does if it has got some moisture in it and that was the little girl’s first impression of makhana possibly.
Anyway, when I suggested she can lick it and then decide whether she likes it, she did just that. She would lick it, suck it for sometime and then spit it off once it lost all the flavour. And then she would pick up some more, it took a few repeats to make her curious enough to eat the whole thing and she learnt by the time all makhana were polished off.
Yes, the lemon pepper and mint makes a wonderful coating for makhana and some other snacks too. One just needs to be cautious about not burning the seasoning while roasting such nuts, so here is the foolproof process of roasting makhana in an air fryer.
100 GM makhana (the quantity depends on the size of the air fryer basket)
3 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
1 tbsp mint powder
2 tsp lemon pepper (add lemon zest and pepper powder if you don't have this)
Pour the makhana in the air fryer basket and add 1 tsp ghee (not melted) on top. Now massage the makhanas with your hands to get a thin coating of ghee all over the makhanas. You can use ghee liberally if you want. I add more ghee mostly.
Push the air fryer basket in, roast it at 200 C for 5 minutes. Check the makhanas once by pulling the basket out, they should be lightly pinkish in colour but it will depend on how dry your makhanas were to start with. Is the makahanas you used were a bit moist you may need to roast for a couple of minutes more. They will make sounds like popping popcorns but that’s okay.
Take the makhanas out in a large bowl. Pour the remaining ghee and all the seasoning and mix with the help of a ladle. The ghee will help the powder seasoning to coat the makhanas well and the seasoning wouldn’t burn. The colour of mint will remain green if done so, else it turns black and looses all flavour.
Perfectly crunchy flavourful lemon pepper mint flavoured roasted makhana is ready to eat. You should keep it in an air tight jar once it cools down else it picks up moisture and becomes chewy.
Serve with tea or coffee, your weekend drinks or use them as a topping in salads if you wish. They are great munches for kids too.
Please let me know whenever you try the recipe. It takes very little time, just 5-8 minutes to prepare a huge bowl of roasted makhanas and is so healthy too.