Fox nuts, commonly known as Phool Makhana in India, are the seeds of a plant belonging to the water lily family. They are considered to offer a multitude of health benefits and are widely used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicines. The dried seeds are also used in various culinary preparations, especially in North India.
Here, fox nuts are added to Mangalorean-style coconut sauce. The seeds absorb the sauce and become soft and flavourful, making the curry incredibly delicious!! Serve this with plain boiled rice.
SERVES 4 to 6
2 cups/30g fox nuts (Phool Makhana)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
15 dried red chilli peppers
1 ½ cups/150g grated fresh coconut
½ teaspoon de-seeded tamarind chunk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
4-5 fresh green chilli peppers, halved
Salt to taste
1. Place the fox nuts in a medium pan over low heat and stir gently for 4-5 minutes, until they turn crisp. Remove to a plate.
2. Add the chillies and ½ teaspoon oil to the heated pan. Stir the chilies until they darken and turn fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Place the coconut, tamarind and red chillies in an electric blender. Blend until smooth, adding 1 cup/250ml water.
4. Place the remaining oil in the pan and set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to turn golden, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the ginger and green chillies and stir for a minute or so.
6. Add the coconut paste from the blender. Add 1 ½ cups/375ml water and salt to taste. Bring to a gentle boil.
7. Add the fox nuts and mix. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, before removing from the heat.
8. Cover and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, to allow the fox nuts to absorb the sauce.
9. Serve hot.