What is Makhana (Fox Nuts) and Where Does it Come From?
Makhanas are also referred to as phool makhana, gorgon nuts, lotus seeds, fox nuts, and Euryale ferox. These seeds are frequently used in a variety of Indian sweets and savoury dishes, including kheer, raita, and makhana curry, as well as being consumed as a teatime snack in the evening.
When we would become hungry as children, my mother would cook a dish of light-weighted makhanas in ghee, sprinkle a little salt on top, and serve it to us. The roasted makhanas were a wonderful snack because they were airy, crisp, and nutritious. Makhanas are also referred to as phool makhana, gorgon nuts, lotus seeds, fox nuts, and Euryale ferox. These seeds are frequently used in a variety of Indian sweets and savoury dishes, including kheer, raita, and makhana curry, as well as being consumed as a teatime snack in the evening. These seeds are offered to the Gods by a large number of people throughout the nation, particularly during Navratri. Do you know where these seeds or nuts are sourced? For you, we have the solution.
Where do Fox Nuts Come From and What Is Makhana? Few of us are aware that fox nuts, also known as makhana, are a component of the lotus flower. The renowned flower has a lot to offer, including lotus seeds, also known as makhana. A significant amount of makhana is produced in the Indian state of Bihar, in Korea, Japan, and a few locations in eastern Russia.
Also, take ideas from our previous blog on: Makhana is "The Superfood for a Healthy Life"
The Makhana processing method
The Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge claims that the seeds are highly nutritious and edible after processing. The journal describes how the Mallah community in Bihar gathers and harvests makhanas. Here is the full procedure:
The harvesting of makhana is a difficult process that calls for expert labour. The harvest begins in the morning at around 10:00 am and lasts until 3:00 pm. A single collection of seeds from the river or pond bottom takes about four to five hours. In some cultures, a bamboo pole called a kaara is fixed in a specific location and covered. Along with the long poles, farmers take a dip in the river before splitting off in various directions. They harvest the seeds at the foot of the bamboo pole by dragging them with the aid of their palms. Seeds collected are cleaned and rinsed.
For grading, all processed seeds are sifted. Different-sized makhanas must pass through various jharna, or rectangular iron plates, sieving mechanisms, during the process. The makhanas must go through ten sieves during the process. Each graded seed is kept on its own shelf.
3. Maintenance and Keeping
The day's harvest is placed in a gaanja, a crescent-shaped vessel, which is continuously shaken and swung by hitting the water's surface until all the seeds are cleaned. After that, tidy seeds are placed in little bags. Once more, the seeds are placed in a cylindrical container and rolled on the ground to create a smooth surface. The seeds are brought to their huts where they are kept overnight. The seeds were spread out across mats the following day by the female members, who allowed them to dry for two to three hours.
Also, take ideas from our previous blog on: Health Benefits of Makhana: 7 Incredible Advantages of Fox Nuts
4. Getting the White Puff
The makhanas must be fried as soon as they are dry since else, they are prone to spoiling quickly. These seeds are fried and then stored in a vessel made of long bamboo strips that has been coated with cow dung. To maintain a specific temperature, a coarse cloth is used to cover the top portion of the container. They must be fried again after a few hours; the same procedure is used, and when finished, the fried makhanas are put on a wooden dish.
The black-colored seeds are carefully cleansed until a white puff emerges from them. The double-expanded white puff is preserved in packets for market sale, and it is made sure that no black seed residue is left on it. You now understand that these fluffy balls required a lot of labour to harvest, thus they want our attention.
Also, take ideas from our previous blog on: Kinds and flavours of Rosted Makhanas at Alfa Foods