Kamal Kakdi are lotus stems that is used in preparing different kind of curries and stir-fried dishes. This Kamal Kakdi sabji is semi dry and is prepared with soya granules. It’s a great weeknight vegetarian dinner and pairs best with paratha.
What is Kamal Kakdi?
Kamal Kakdi is the stem of the lotus. The texture is hard like wood and on cooking, it gets a lovely crunchy bite. It can be prepared in several different ways and it’s very nutritional.
It’s not something I grew up eating and didn’t even know of it until I met Arvind. And it took me few failures to finally get the hang of cooking this dish.
My mother in law always prepares Lotus Stem Sabji with soya granules and that’s how Arvind likes it. So, I have been just following the same recipe.
Adding Soya Granules to Kamal Kakdi Sabji
Soya granules are dehydrated granules of soya chunks. And once it is hydrated by soaking in water for a while, it puffs up slightly and texture feels very soft.
The crunchy texture of lotus stems works brilliantly in the curry with the soft and spongy soya granules.
Fresh or Frozen Lotus Stems ?
In US, the fresh lotus stems that I have found in Asian stores are quite large and the texture extremely woody. I believe those works best for crispy fry dishes.
Typically, the Indian curry with Lotus stems calls for the tender variety. So, I just get the frozen ones which you can find in Indian stores. Needs no peeling or extra boiling to prepare the dish.
Boiling the Lotus Stems
The fresh ones are always boiled until it's soften and then added to the curry.
The frozen variety that I get here are tender and feel quite soft. So I don't boil it sepearately for this curry. I just simmered it for a while while preparing the curry and it got the perfect texture.
Soft but crunchy!
Now that I got the hang of how to prepare Kamal Kakdi, I am definitely going to try some different versions to prepare it. But this particular recipe with soya granule will be more regular.
Kamal Kakdi Sabzi
- 6 oz tender lotus stems (kamal kakdi - I used frozen ones)
- 1 medium size onion (about 6 oz)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- 2 green chilies
- 1 tomato (about 6 oz)
- ½ cup soya granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and ½ tablepsoon oil
- fennel seeds - ½ teaspoon
- cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
- camon seeds - ½ teaspoon
- turmeric powder - ½ teaspoon
- cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
- coriander powder - ½ teaspoon
- chili powder - ½ teaspoon
- dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi - 1 tablepsoon)
- garam masala powder - ½ teaspoon
- dry mango powder - ½ teapsoon
- soak the soya granule in water and allow it to soften for 5 minutes.
- Finaly chop the onion, garlic, ginger, green chili and tomato.
- In a wok at medium heat, pour the oil. Once the oil heats up, drop the chopped garlic, ginger and green chili. Stir it around and let it sizzle for few seconds. Then scatter the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, carom seeds and kasuri methi and stir it aorund for few seconds.
- Scatter the chopped onion, salt and turmeric powder. Stir it around and cook for 3 minutes.
- Next, add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. Stir it around for 1 minute.
- Drop the chopped tomato along with the lutus stems( kamal kakdi )and stir it aorund. Allow it to cook along with the spies for 5 to 7 minutes. If it gets too dry, add little water.
- Once the spices are cooked through, pour ⅓ cup water along with the soaked soya granules and stir it around to cook for some more time. If you prefer gravy, then add more water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the lotus stems to make sure it's cooked through.
- Finally add garam masala, dry mango powder and stir it around for 3 minutes.
- Enjoy it warm!