Makhana Bhel is an Indian snack that will tantalize your taste buds! This low-calorie snack is light on the tummy and tastes delicious to your palate. Makhana is a super nutritious food to incorporate into your daily diet. Makhana Bhel is the perfect healthy snack to include in your daily regimen and benefit from Makhanas. I like to indulge in this as a salad for lunch instead of a snack; then, I can have a bigger portion of this delicious Makhana Bhel. Dig into it with me!
What is BhelPuri?
Bhelpuri is a savory snack that falls under the popular category of ‘Street Food - Chaat’, originating from the Indian subcontinent. BhelPuri has an iconic status for its low-fat, nutritious, delicious, yet spicy characteristics. Traditionally is made with puffed rice, deep-fried flour crackers, sweet, sour, spicy chutneys, veggies, and fruits like onions, tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes, green mango, pomegranate, etc.
What is Makhana in this Makhana Bhel Recipe?
This Makhana Bhel recipe contains Makhana, which is also known as Phool Makhana, Lotus Seeds, Fox Nuts, Euryale Ferox, and Gorgon Nuts. Makhana is an aquatic crop mostly cultivated in the wet and marshy lands of Asian countries. India is the only country where makhana is cultivated as a crop, mainly in Northern Bihar and some parts of Assam and Manipur. Bihar accounts for more than 85 percent of the makhana produced in the country.
The seeds grow on the leaf in a pond or, ideally, in stagnant water. Collected seeds are then washed and sun-dried for a couple of hours. After they dry up, they are roasted in a pan at high flame and then hit immediately so that the black shells are broken, and a white puff pops out.
Health Benefits of Makhana Bhel
Enriched with goodness, the Makhanas in this Makhana Bhel recipe are packed with protein, potassium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, iron, and zinc. They are low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium and have a low glycemic index. Makhanas make a perfect snack for those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Besides anti-aging enzymes, a natural flavonoid called kaempferol helps prevent inflammation and aging. Makhanas are low in calories and make an ideal snack to satiate in-between meal hunger pangs. So, binging on Makhana won’t harm your weight loss journey.
Makhana Bhel is Quick and Easy to Make
To make Makhana Bhel, you only need 15 minutes and everyday ingredients from your pantry. You’ll need fresh ingredients like onion, tomato, cucumber, boiled potatoes, sweet peppers, green mango, and pomegranate arils. You can skip any ingredient which is not in season.
Don’t forget to include your favorite chutneys! Most of us always stock up on green chutney and Meethi chutney/Saunth in our refrigerators. If not, I have used the recipe for green cilantro chutney, and saunth ; they are really simple to make.
We’ll add spices like salt, red chili powder, and chaat masala. In the end, we'll add a few of your favorite crispy protein-rich ingredients to add crunch. Voilà! Your Makhana BhelPuri will be ready in no time.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Best Makhana Bhel
- Make sure Makhana are crispy - Either dry roast them on a stovetop on medium heat or in a microwave in increments of 30 sec. For even roasting, stir them in between.
- Roughly crush the makhanas - Make sure they don’t fly away or roll out while mixing them with other ingredients.
- The spice level can be modified to an individual’s choice. To make it spicier, increase the quantity of green chutney and green chilis.
- Adding nuts and roasted chickpeas is a great idea to make it a protein-rich snack.
- Stay green on the health meter by avoiding adding deep-fried tidbits.
- Go wild with your imagination and top with hempseeds and chia seeds.
- I chose to add roasted pumpkin seeds because of their high protein content in this recipe.
- Be light on salt, as we will add a lot of salt via other ingredients.
- Add roasted Makahana only when ready to eat to keep it crisp for longer.
- Mix all the ingredients except makhana in one bowl and keep it aside until ready to use.
- You can pack Makhana Bhel for a light work lunch. Make sure you pack roasted Makahan in a separate Ziploc bag or container.
- 100 gms Cucumber: ½ cup peeled & diced.
- 100 gms Onion ½ cup diced
- 100 gms Tomato ½ cup diced
- ½ cup Potato boiled and diced
- ½ cup Pomegranate Arils
- 10 gms Fresh Cilantro 2 tbs finely chopped
- 8 gms Fresh Mint 2 tbs finely chopped
- 3 gms Green Chili 1 teaspoon finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice or Lime
- Dry roast makhanas on medium heat till crunchy. Keep stirring in between for even roasting. Makhana can be roasted in the microwave as well.
- Once roasted, let the Makhana cool down and then transfer in a gallon-size Ziploc.
- Secure the Ziploc carefully and roughly crush the Makhanas using a rolling pin.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add all the chopped vegetables and stir.
- Then add roasted peanuts, cashews, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and jalapeno crisps. Stir!
- Add, chopped green chilis, cilantro, mint, chutneys, spices, and lime juice.
- Give it a good stir. Keep this mixture separate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, stir in crushed roasted Makhanas.
- Before serving topped with some nylon sev (optional), some jalapeno crisps, pomegranate arils and peanuts.