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Fox Nuts: How They Are Grown and Prepared

Makhana Bowl - Tapas Nutrition

Makhana seeds, also called lotus seeds or fox nuts, are currently one of the highest-selling dry snacks in India. They are the round or oval-shaped seeds inside dark green lotus pods usually found on ponds and swamps. With their crunchy texture and extensive health benefits, they serve as a hearty alternative to popcorn.

In India, the cultivation of fox nuts mainly takes place in West Bengal, Bihar, Manipur, Tripura, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Out of these places, Bihar alone is the largest producer of makhana, with 90% of overall production across the world.  

How makhana seeds look before harvesting may look very different from their edible form. You may be wondering how prickly stalks of a lotus could produce such a great snack. In this article, we’ll dive into how fox nuts are grown and treated to create the satisfying crisps that people of all ages enjoy.

Cultivating and Treating Makhana Seeds

Lotus ponds thrive in calm waters, like that of a pond or swampy wasteland. If you have access to an area like this and plan to cultivate makhana, you can check the market for seeds, or get a hold of seeds left from a previous harvest. 

The depth of a makhana pond can be around 6 to 4 feet and must have stagnant water at all times. Alternatively, you can prepare makhana seeds like other nursery plants and transport it to a water field in spring. 

It may seem like simple work, but makhana cultivation entails a lot of hard work. The seeds are harvested from the mud lying at the bottom of the pond and require skilled workers. Divers usually have to hold their breaths, and the mud entering into their eyes or ears can cause skin problems. In tropical areas, a single plant can produce up to 80 to 100 makhana seeds. These are then dried under the sun to take out its moisture. 

Once about 30% of the seeds’ moisture has been taken out, they are stored for a maximum of 24 days to prepare them for grading. Sun-dried seeds are divided into 5 to 7 grades, based upon their size. Seeds are then heated and stirred continuously.

Lastly, heated seeds are dried again, before being sent into roasting fire, causing the seed to break open. Truly sounds like a lot of work, but the benefits that the final output provides are also quite valuable. 

Growing Your Own Makhana Seeds

While field cultivation is the most feasible in a sizable area, traditional pond cultivation is also feasible. It’s actually one of the most common methods of cultivation in India. You can take a deep, large basin or pot, fill it with mud and water, then plant makhana seeds into it. This doesn’t require techniques like seedling transplant or seed sowing, so anyone with the right weather and patience can grow fox nuts. 

It’s not impossible to grow makhana seeds in a much smaller space, either. If you don’t have enough space for a large basin, you can use a plastic tub to grow water lotus. Start with a dried seed pod from your local florist, find a spot in your house with good natural light, and you can harvest makhana seeds in a few months.

When growing your own lotus, it’s important to remember to keep the water warm. There are a few tricks to doing this at home. One, you can place your plastic tub on a seedling heat mat or on top of your refrigerator. Alternatively, you can set up warming lights enough to cover your plants and turn it on when your water temperature falls below 20 degrees celsius.

Although small-scale cultivation is possible, it’s important to remember that makhana nuts are impossible to grow without putting in the necessary labor. Due to the lack of proper technology, the processing of fox nuts remains manual. While processing, the heating may cause skin burns. Getting your skin in frequent contact to mud may also cause skin problems. 

Consuming Processed Fox Nuts

Being processed without preservatives nor foreign substances, fox nuts make highly nutritious snacks and are used in many different recipes, especially in Indian cuisine. If kept in an airtight container, fox nuts can be stored for months and can be prepared in many ways.

For example, this ancient superfood can be roasted or consumed. These nuts are also a type of seed that could be included in cereals or soup because of its neutral taste. Trying flavored makhana pops could be a good idea if you’re introducing them to kids – cheese-flavored makhanas are quite delectable, even for adults. 

The simplest way to consume processed fox nuts is to roast them and throw in a little flavor. Ready in just 10 minutes, you can play with the seasoning to create as many flavors as you can imagine.

In Summary

With the right patience and process, anyone – especially those in tropical countries – can grow makhana seeds. You don’t need an entire pond or field to start aiming to grow lotus pods. It’s likely that you already have most of the things to start with around your house. There are also various resources you can check online to make sure you’re treating the initial seeds correctly. 

Growing your own makhana seeds can be just as satisfying as consuming them. After 4 to 5 days of soaking seeds in water, you should already see them sprout! When you take care of them for a few weeks and start harvesting, you’ll find that you can’t run out of new recipes to try, as these goodies taste neutral and go with almost anything.

We hope this quick guide has been helpful in encouraging you to cultivate your own fox nuts or to start including them in your diet. If you’re interested in trying out fox nuts as a healthy snack, you can start with our selection of flavored makhana nuts, which many kids and adults love. 


1. How are fox nuts made?

Foxnuts are not artificially made. Fox nut are seeds of a water lily plant that are popped using heat. It is all natural, edible and has a lot of nutritional value.

2.Are processed fox nuts safe for consumption?

There is very minimal processing in making products from fox nuts. Fox nuts can be easily roasted using heat only, without the usage of oil. It requires very little seasoning for flavor. Flavored fox nuts or fox nut products are absolutely safe and better than other processed snacks available in the market.

3. Do fox nuts cause allergies?

There is no large data available to conclude if fox nuts cause allergies or not. Since there are no or very small number of reported cases, fox nuts cause less or no allergy compared to other nuts.

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Sustainable Farming: What It Means for Makhana Consumers

Sustainable Farming: What It Means for Makhana Consumers

Makhana or water lily pops come from the seed of aquatic/water lily plants. In India, it is grown in Bihar and eastern parts of the country. In fact, 90% of the world’s makhana is produced in India.

Makhana is considered a superfood because of the incredible nutrient value it contains.

Let us see how makhana is cultivated and harvested in these regions.

The water lily plants grow naturally in ponds, but it is also grown in human-made ponds with lesser depth compared to natural farms. Makhana farming is a tedious process, especially harvesting it. Even today, makhana farming has very little mechanization. It is high on manual labor. These farmers, get into these ponds to harvest the seeds from the water, prickly leaves can be obstruction, but this is the way it is done. Once the seeds are harvested from these ponds, the next process starts – washing, cleaning, drying.

The dried seeds are popped using heat and it transforms from a dark brown seed to a white popped ball like popcorn. This is how we get makhana or water lily pops packed with nutrients.

What is sustainable farming and what role does it play in makhana farming?

Sustainable farming needs to be looked at from a long-term perspective. There are various farming methods and techniques. The evolution of farming has led to some unhealthy practices, practices that harm the soil, environment, even the crops and farmers.

Sustainable farming takes a holistic view of farming. Farming practices that are organic, chemical-free, environment friendly, and at the same time economically viable to the farmer. A lot of research has gone into making farming sustainable.

sustainable agriculture

Makhana is a natural product and being aquatic makes it less prone to pests as compared to non-aquatic produce. Many farmers refrain from using chemicals and pesticides, use natural ponds, select a well-researched variety of seeds at the time of planting.

Getting a fair price for their products sometimes becomes an issue in these regions. Middlemen take away a huge chunk without providing a fair price to the farmers. The hard work is not rewarded well.

Sustainable makhana farming is the need of the hour for the balance of ecology. Sustainability helps in combining best practices for communities that beneficial to farmers, consumers, and the environment. Farming that degrades its natural resource base, in this case, the water bodies or ponds, or pollutes the environment with chemicals, eventually will lose its ability to produce good crops. We can stop this from happening.

Agriculture practices

How can organizations and consumers contribute to sustainable farming?

Food processing companies who rely heavily on agricultural products need to put extra effort to trace the source of their products, knowing how it is grown and harvested.

Testing the products regularly for chemicals and encouraging the farmers to grow responsibly. At the same time, providing a fair price to the growers becomes extremely important.

Eliminate agents who are taking away a fair share of the farmers, fix fair prices and quantity so it is economically viable for the farmers.

Consumers also can play a vital part in this. Buy products that are sustainably grown and procured. Do your research, ask for the source of the food products you are consuming and encourage companies who are putting effort into bringing good food to you!

We at Nummy, believe in sustainable farming. We procure makhanas directly from the farmers who grow this superfood naturally and without chemicals. We also ensure quantity and fair price to the farmers. Sustainable farming practices may seem expensive in the short run but these practices are definitely required for the health of our consumers, the environment, and the economy.

Encourage sustainable farming practices!

Nummy - Sustainable makhana farming


1. What is the primary goal of sustainable farming?

The primary goal is to sustain for a long period of time. Any shortcut in farming might give short-term benefits but may not have long term gains. The idea of sustainable is to stay fruitful, healthy and profitable for longer period of time

2. Is sustainable farming beneficial for the environment?

Yes, it is. Sustainable farming practices involve natural ways of farming, manuring, pest control, harvesting and marketing. This results in reduction of chemical usage which prevents soil pollution, fosters a healthy ecosystem of flora and fauna making these practices beneficial for the environment.

3. How can we start sustainable farming?

  • Start by reducing the usage of chemicals in farming – it can be pesticide, chemical fertilizers or insecticides. 
  • Cut down on practices that give only short term benefits. Look for natural ways to grow and market your products
  • Avoid use of plastic in farming and packing your products. Look for plastic alternatives.
  • Fair pricing at every step can ensure the farmer gets a deserving price for all the hard work and it is not taken away by intermediaries. 
  • Organic and other certifications can also help in boosting your sales as an organic brand. It is good to build your credibility as a believer in sustainability.

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How to Make Makhanas a Part of Your Healthy Lifestyle

Makhana Kheer Recipe

Whether you’re on a long hiking trip, or just spending time at home it’s often said that nuts are the undisputed snack companions. They are filling, healthy, tasty, and just munching on them is always a treat all on its own. Nuts are also a versatile ingredient when it comes to crafting up unique recipes that are sure to satisfy anyone’s palate. 

One particular peanut variant has been growing a steady amount of interest from health-conscious individuals – the Makhanas or fox nuts as they’re more commonly called.

What Are Makhanas?

Makhanas are seeds of the lotus flower, the Euryale ferox, which is a type of watering plant classified in the water lily family. These plants usually grow in the stagnant water of wetlands or ponds in East Asia. 

These edible seeds have become quite a staple in Indian cuisine, and they have also been used in ancient Chinese medicines. Thus, proving once more the sheer versatility of nuts in any shape or form.

Makhanas are highly produced in the state of Bihar in India, as well as other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. A few parts of Eastern Russia have also cultivated these edible seeds, and they’ve been reaping all the fantastic health benefits.

Health Benefits of Makhanas

Makhanas are known for the many health benefits that they bring. They are commonly consumed when fasting due to their nutritional value. The nuts are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium making them the ideal snack to satisfy one’s hunger pangs. 

The delightfully munchy Makhanas are a popular aid in weight loss due to their low caloric content. The nuts are also a good source of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, manganese, and phosphorus.

Not only are they delicious, the nuts can be consumed just for its health benefits alone. A few of these health benefits include:

Weight Loss

Saturated fat is one of the many culprits of unwanted weight gain, coupled with high caloric content and the potential for overeating. There are various food items today that contain a mishmash of the bad stuff, which is why it is important to keep an eye on everything you consume when trying to lose weight.

Fortunately, Makhana is a superfood for weight loss. These nuts are low in calories and contain negligible amounts of saturated fat, which make them a great snack option when trying to stay fit and healthy. Moreover, Makhanas contain sufficient amounts of protein that can help one stay full for longer periods of time. 

Anti-aging Properties

Makhanas contain a certain anti-aging enzyme that helps repair damaged proteins. The regular consumption of these nuts aids in the fight against free radicals. 

They contain a natural flavonoid called kaempferol which helps slow down the aging process. Kaempferol greatly assists in the aging process by slowing down the signs of aging such as wrinkles, grey hair, and hair loss.

The nuts also contain detoxifying agents that help flush out all the toxins from the body. Makhanas play an essential role in helping the detoxification of blood by cleaning out the spleen. Their antioxidant properties are essential health benefits that consumers could definitely leverage.

Lowers Health Risks of Various Diseases

Due to their high magnesium and low sodium content, Makhanas can be beneficial to those who are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Since they are rich in good carbohydrates and protein, they are great inclusions to a strict diet. Makhanas are low glycemic foods that can play a significant role in managing one’s blood sugar levels.

Makhanas have a lower glycemic index compared to other staple foods making them a snack you can keep having if you need to watch your sugar levels. The correct preparation of this highly nutritional snack also plays an important role towards delivering the right nutrients to its consumers.

Makhana Recipes to Try

Munching on Makhanas is fun and healthy, but they can also be used as an ingredient for delightful dishes. It must be noted though that preparing Makhana the right way is vital for maximizing its potential health benefits. Here are several recipes that you can try for yourself to elevate the Makhana food experience:

Dry Roasted Makhana: In a non-stick pan or griddle, place Makhanas and roast on a low flame until they appear slightly brown. Moderate the flame as necessary, but do not burn the nuts. Once the nuts are roasted, transfer in an air-tight jar and store in a dry place.

Makhanas Roasted With Ghee/Coconut Oil: For individuals who are not averse to a little bit of healthy fat, ghee or coconut oil can be added to the pan before roasting Makhana. Salt and chaat masala could also be added, but make sure to avoid adding too much of these artificial flavorings.

Sugar-Free Makhana Kheer: For individuals with a sweet tooth, Makhanas can also be prepared as a dessert. Dry roast the fox nuts until crisp, once dried the nuts should be cooled before blended coarsely in a grinder. Boil milk in a deep non-stick pan. Add dates and the coarsely crushed Makhanas once the milk boils. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and cook on a medium flame for about two to five minutes while stirring occasionally.

Makhana Raita: In a pan, dry roast the Makhanas for five minutes until they are crisp. Cool the nuts and store in a ziplock bag. Once stored, roll a rolling pin over the bag until all of the nuts are crushed but not powdered. Whisk yogurt in a bowl until smooth, and add chaat masala, salt, and the crushed Makhanas. Stir the mixture and serve with coriander leaves as garnish.

Makhana Curry: Boil onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and cashews in a cup of water for five minutes. Grind to a fine paste once the mixture cools down. Dry roast Makhanas for five minutes until they are crisp. In a non-stick pan, heat ghee and add cloves, cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon. Once the cumin crackles, add the paste and cook for five more minutes while stirring in between.

Add masalas, and saute for one minute. Add a cup of water and let the mixture boil. Add the curd and whisk the entire time. Add the Makhanas and cook for two minutes while stirring. Only stop stirring once the gravy is absorbed, add more water if necessary. Finally, add garam masala and coriander leaves. Serve the dish hot.

Health tips:

  1. Add a spoon or two of makhana flour/powder to your dosa batter or roti atta to make these nutritious.
  2. Add a spoon of makhana powder to milkshakes and smoothies to improve nutritional value.
  3. Have a handful of roasted makhana/flavored makhana with milk before sleep for better sleep quality.
  4. Use makhana powder with curd as a face pack to reduce wrinkles.
  5. Replace makhana with fried snacks during tea/coffee-breaks for healthy weight management.
  6. Have a handful of makhana after work-out/exercise for post work-out energy.

Over to You

Makhanas are indeed versatile and healthy nuts that are incredibly easy to incorporate to a lifestyle. Not only is this snack enjoyable to consume by itself, there are also various delicious ways to prepare it. 

If you need a guilt-free snack that provides many health benefits, this superfood should become a staple in your pantry. You can find it in most vegetarian shops or you can order Makhanas online from a direct seller. 

Try out the recipes we’ve suggested or get creative! The possibilities are endless, and trying Makhanas could be the best health decision you’ll make for yourself.

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5 Indian Superfoods You Must Include in Your Diet

5 Indian Superfoods You Must Include in Your Diet

What comes to your mind when you think of superfoods?

Unlike what they sound, superfoods are not artificial foods that impart superhuman strength to people. The origin of the term ‘superfoods’ has no scientific background. It is mainly a marketing term that came to life considering the growing interest of the people in health and wellness.

So what are superfoods? Superfoods are nutrient-rich, natural ingredients that provide greater health benefits over other foods. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that help the body. In simple words, superfoods offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimum calories. 

Due to extensive research on the subject, the list of superfoods keeps changing every year. While most of them rave about western foods such as kale, blueberry, and avocados, there are several lesser-known alternatives that are commonly available in India.

Long before the idea of superfoods hit us, our grandmothers knew exactly what was healthy and beneficial for our health. Several conventional Indian foods have been in use for thousands of years because of their impressive nutritional profile and therapeutic benefits.

Before we take a look at them, let’s understand how including superfoods in our diet can help us.

Benefits of Superfoods

The emergence of chronic diseases has forced us to take a hard look at our dietary patterns. Studies show that along with elevating our overall health, superfoods can protect us against degenerative diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.

When consumed along with a balanced diet, superfoods improve heart health and promote weight loss. They act against bad bacteria and have antioxidant properties that slow down aging.

Superfoods are also rich in fiber, a nutrient that is lacking in most diets today. Including them in the diet helps reach the daily recommended value of fiber and keeps digestive problems at bay.

Consuming superfoods is a great way to fill the nutritional gap caused by our modern-day busy lifestyle and live through the day with energy and vitality.

5 Commonly Found Indian Superfoods to Include in Your Diet

1. Makhana or Lotus Seeds

Makhanas or lotus seeds, which are the popped seeds of water lily plants, are now gaining popularity for their health and weight-loss benefits. The small puffed balls are low in fat and are rich sources of carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber; a combination that is helpful for weight loss and better digestion.

Makhanas are a great addition to mineral-deficient diets as they carry abundant amounts of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. This comes with a plethora of health benefits such as good heart health, anti-aging, reducing inflammation, diabetes control, relieving infertility, and maintaining healthy kidneys and spleen.

When researchers used crushed fox nuts to substitute all-purpose flour to prepare cookies, they found that the cookies had lower moisture and fat content. Fox Nut flour is a gluten-free and healthier option over refined flour and it’s long term health benefits cannot be overruled.

How to include Makhana in your diet?

Dried Lotus seeds can be soaked overnight and added to soups, salads, curries, and other dishes. For weight loss, replace chips with healthy roasted makhanas as they are low in calories and help satiate hunger pangs.

2. Ghee or Clarified Butter

Wait, ghee? Isn’t ghee supposed to make us fat?

Ghee has been used in Ayurveda for over a thousand years for its therapeutic properties. In the olden days, ghee was predominantly used as a base for administering herbal remedies for various ailments.

Earlier ghee was suspected to be a reason for bad cholesterol and heart problems. But extensive scientific research indicates that moderate consumption of ghee does not show any harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels.

A baffling study on a rural population in India showed a significantly lower prevalence of coronary heart disease in men who consumed higher amounts of ghee. Moreover, the consumption of ghee led to significant improvements in patients with psoriasis symptoms.

These positive research findings support the beneficial effects of ghee outlined in the ancient Ayurvedic texts and makes it worthy of the coveted ‘superfood’ title.

How to include ghee in your diet?

1 or 2 tbsp of ghee is considered a healthy serving for the day. Consuming 1 tbsp ghee on an empty stomach is soothing for the body and helps in cell rejuvenation and healing. Ghee can also be added to your breakfast and meals to reap its benefits.

3. Amla or Gooseberry

Like Ghee, Amla is an old player in the Ayurvedic space. The word Amla is derived from the Sanskrit word “amlaki” which means “the sustainer”.

Amla is used in the two most popular Ayurvedic formulas “Triphala” and “Chyawanprash”. While Triphala detoxifies and nourishes the body, Chyavanprash is known to rejuvenate and strengthen it. Amla is rich in vitamin C and other vital vitamins that are important to our nervous system, immune system, skin, and hair.

An interesting study shows how amla can be beneficial in weight loss. Among two groups of test subjects, one group was served 60 kCals of amla for evening snack and the other group was served sweets of the same calories. It was observed that the subjects who consumed amla ate less food at night as compared to the group that had sweets.

How to include Amla in your diet?

If you don’t mind the sourness, it is best to eat them raw. You can also add amla to fruit salads and cereals so that the taste blends well. Other popular options are sun-dried amla candy, amla juice, amla pickle, and chutney.

4. Coconut

The food that is commonly available is also one that is easily sidelined. Coconut is an unsung hero that has been silently saving millions of lives around the world. 

An excerpt from NDTV clearly states the connection between coconut oil and heart health. Until the 1980s, despite large amounts of coconut consumption, heart disease rate in Sri Lanka was the lowest in the world i.e. only 1 out of every 10,000 was suffering from a heart condition. Over the past decade, heart disease rates have gone up as coconut oil is replaced by refined vegetable oil. 

Besides improving heart health, coconut kills disease-causing bacteria, helps diabetics by slowing down sugar release into the bloodstream and boosts body metabolism. This superfood also carries the potential to prevent strokes and brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

How to include Coconuts in your diet?

Coconut water is a tasty and nutrient-rich alternative over sugary drinks. Try replacing refined sugar with coconut sugar for its health benefits. Coconut milk and virgin coconut oil can be added to curries and sweets. Other options include desiccated coconut (naariyal buraada), coconut chips, and spreads. You would want to consume coconut-based products in moderation to keep the calorie count under control.

5. Millets

If you are looking for a better alternative over quinoa, millets are your best bet. Thanks to the superfood bandwagon, people are now realising the health benefits of these grains that were once called old-fashioned.

Replacing refined flour with millet flour improves the digestive system and keeps one full longer. Sorgham (Jowar), Finger Millet (Ragi) and Pearl Millet (Bajra) are easily available in the supermarkets and are better nutrient sources over rice and wheat.

Millet crops grow in low rainfall regions as they need less water. The crop is completely organic as it doesn’t require pesticides and fertilizers for support. Millets have an excellent shelf life and can be stored for up to two years.

How to include Millets in your diet?

Millet flour is commonly used to make rotis in several parts of the country. When you use refined flour, try replacing 30% of it with millet flour for added health benefits. Millets can also be used to make cereal porridge, idli, dosas, and upma.

Eating a Well Balanced Diet

No single food can provide every single nutrient our body needs in the exact amount needed. So it is best that we eat a combination of healthy foods, all of which balance each other out. 

The title ‘superfoods’ may cause some people to excessively focus on a few specific foods, blinding them to other equally nutritious options that aren’t as hyped.

By eating a balanced diet we not only get the essential vitamins and minerals, but also prevent eating too much or too little of a particular nutrient. Importantly, a variety in our diet keeps our meals interesting and flavorful!


Q: Which is healthier, ghee or butter?

A: Ghee is a natural food that has been used for medical and culinary purposes for centuries.It has a few cooking advantages over butter, and it’s definitely preferable if you’re allergic/intolerant to dairy. 

Q: Are millets gluten free?

A: Yes. millet is a naturally gluten-free grain that can be eaten whole (as a substitute for rice, for example) or crushed into flour for cooking. 

Q: Is coconut sugar good for you?

A: Coconut sugar falls into the same category as other sugar substitutes. It’s better than refined sugar.

Q: Does amla boost immunity?

A: Amla is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin C helps improve the immune system’s reaction and the function of white blood cells. Therefore, consuming amla can have a positive impact on immunity. 

5 Indian Superfoods You Must Include in Your Diet
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How to Supercharge Your Vegan Diet with Makhana

How to Supercharge Your Vegan Diet with Makhana

Veganism is a growing trend. As of 2018, the size of the global vegan food market was calculated to be worth $12.69 billion and the numbers are growing every year.

For the uninitiated, a vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal. This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, and even honey. A vegan diet is also called a plant-based diet.

While veganism has its benefits, vegans are faced with a dilemma when it comes to meeting their nutritional needs. If not careful, vegans can be deprived of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins, which may impair certain bodily functions in the long run.

This has pushed food companies in pursuit of processed plant-based alternatives that are nutrition-rich and competent with their animal-based counterparts.

Considering that processed foods are not particularly healthy and are high in fat, the attention is now shifting to natural plant-based foods that can help vegans supercharge their diets. This is where makhana comes into the picture.

What is Makhana and How Can It Solve Your Nutritional Problems

Makhana is the popped seed of lotus plant or water lily. Commonly called fox nuts or lotus seeds, makhana is a completely plant-based, non-cereal snack, similar to popcorn in appearance.

Makhana is widely used in the preparation of curries, raita and sweets. With increasing awareness about health and wellness, people are now going back to the once-forgotten snack for its health and nutritional benefits.

Although makhana has been in use for many decades, it is a new addition to the list of superfoods. Unlike western superfoods like kale, blueberries and avocados, makhana is easily available in the country.

To understand the role of makhana in a vegan diet, let’s consider an example:

Phosphorus is vital for the formation of bones and teeth and plays an important role in how our body uses carbohydrates and fats. Non-vegans have no problem meeting their phosphorus needs as foods like dairy, seafood and meat are rich sources of the mineral.

Adding just 1 cup of makhana (32g) to your vegan diet will provide 20% of the body’s daily recommended percentage of phosphorus, which is higher than most plant-based food sources out there. When makhana is a part of a balanced plant-based diet, it can supercharge your body with a complete nutritional package and keep various health problems at bay.

Common Problems Faced by Vegans and How Makhana Comes to the Rescue

Junk Food Veganism

This is a highly used term in the vegan circle. Vegan junk food is the most mainstream vegan food option today.

Vegans are commonly caught off-guard when hit by untimely hunger pangs. This leads to dependence on processed and junk foods that are not particularly healthy.

To deal with the challenge, you can prepare a batch of roasted makhana and store it. With this, you have a nutritious, low-calorie snack ready for guilt-free binging when you feel hungry.

Also, makhana is rich in fibre and proteins which help in feeling full longer and prevent untimely snacking. This is helpful when you are trying to lose weight.

Taking Supplements

As mentioned earlier, choosing to stay away from dairy and meat can deprive vegans of essential vitamins and minerals. A busy lifestyle can lead to haphazard diet patterns and make the problem worse.

Are supplements the only solution? No.

Makhana can solve this problem as just one cup can provide 37% manganese, 20% phosphorus, 17 % magnesium, and 14 % of thiamin along with other vitamins and minerals. The percentage indicates daily recommended values of these nutrients.

All you have to do is snack on a handful of makhana and your body will thank you for it.

The Protein Challenge!

Protein is vital as our body needs it to build and repair tissues.

Although there are many plant-based protein sources to choose from, they are not all complete proteins. Complete protein sources are those which have all nine essential amino acids in them.

Another challenge with a vegan diet is ‘protein packaging’. When we eat protein-rich foods, we are not only consuming protein but everything else that accompanies it. For example, when you eat beans, seeds, and nuts, you are also consuming the fats that come with them.

Makhana is especially helpful in addressing both these problems. Research shows that lotus seed protein is nutritionally well balanced and significantly important for including in diets. Also, makhana comprises 19.8% protein and negligible amount of fats, which makes it an ideal protein package for a vegan diet.

Gluten? No Thanks.

Are you allergic to gluten?

Substitution of wheat flour with gluten-free flour has been receiving considerable attention lately.

Unlike wheat and barley, makhana is gluten-free. With the growing awareness about gluten-free foods, extensive studies advocate powdered makhana as a healthy and gluten-free alternative over wheat and refined flours.

Makhana powder can be blended with wheat or all-purpose flour in 1:1 proportion to make roti and parathas. This helps in cutting down gluten intake to almost half the original amount and increases the nutritional value of your meal.

Desi and Vegan Makhana Salad Recipe


  • Cucumber: 1/2 cup peeled & diced.
  • Onion 1/2 cup diced
  • Tomato 1/2 cup diced
  • 1/2 cup potato boiled and diced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • Fresh cilantro 2 tbs finely chopped
  • Fresh mint 2 tbs finely chopped
  • Green chilli 1 tsp finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 120 gms makhana/fox nuts: 4 cups
  • Peanuts roasted and salted – ¼ cup
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas roasted and salted
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds roasted and salted
  • 1/2 tsp salt– ½ tsp
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tbsp mint green chutney
  • 2 tbsp tamarind & dates sweet chutney


  1. Dry roast makhanas on medium heat till crunchy. Keep stirring in between for even roasting. Makhana can be roasted in the microwave as well. (You can also use readily available roasted makhana) 
  2. Once roasted, let the makhana cool down a bit and roughly crush the makhanas using a rolling pin.
  3. In a bowl add all the chopped vegetables and stir.
  4. Then add roasted peanuts, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds. Add chopped green chilis, cilantro, mint, both the chutneys, spices and lime juice.
  5. Give it a good stir. 
  6. Add the crushed roasted makhanas and voila! Desi and Vegan Salad Ready!

Final Thoughts

To summarize, makhana is a protein-rich, low-fat, and gluten-free superfood, ideal for including in a plant-based diet.

Makhana has diverse applications; while some people use it as a tasty tea-time snack, others use it in curries, sweets, and parathas.

By eating makhana, you are not only helping your health, but are also doing your part to support local farmers who are involved in makhana cultivation for their livelihood.

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What is Makhana? Everything You Need to Know About the Indian Superfood

What is Makhana? Everything You Need to Know About the Indian Superfood

Do you have fond memories of munching on ghee-roasted Makhana during childhood?

The pale-coloured, crunchy and nutritious balls are indeed tasty and form an integral part of many Indian households.

So what exactly is Makhana?

Makhana is popularly known as Lotus Seed. Depending on the region, it is also called Gorgon Nut, Fox Nut or Phool Makhana.

If you are new to makhana, think of it as a snack just like popcorn. While popcorn is nothing but popped corn, Makhana is popped Lotus seed. To elaborate, it is the edible starchy kernel found inside the lotus seed.

Although making popcorn is simple, extracting makhana from hard-coated lotus seeds is a laborious and time-consuming job. But the good news is that you don’t have to worry about any of that. Popped makhana is readily available in the market, both in plain and flavoured forms.

Makhana is considered a pious food in India and is offered to the Gods during Navratri. For people who go on fasts, dry or ghee roasted makhana is a healthy yet tasty alternative over the usual sabudana and potato fries.

In its original form, makhana has a bland taste and takes on the flavour of the dish you add it to. This is the reason why it is used in several Indian foods and sweet dishes like Makhana Kheer, Khoya Makhana, Makhana Raita, Makhana Halwa, and so on.

Makhana paste is highly popular in countries like China and Japan, where it is widely used in pastries and desserts.

Where Does Makhana Come From?

As said earlier, Makhana is the popped seed of Lotus or makhana plant. The plant is a member of the water lily family and commonly grows on wetlands and ponds.

Makhana plants adjust well to the Indian tropical climate. While they grow naturally in some places, makhana plants are cultivated commercially in some parts of Bihar, central and eastern pockets of India by local folks. Bihar alone is responsible for 90% of India’s Makhana production.

Lotus or Makhana Plants bear fruits that hold the Makhana seeds inside. Once ripe, the seeds are extracted, cleaned, and assorted for further processing. The black (or brown), hard-coated makhana seeds go through repeated heating and cooling to prepare them for popping.

When ready, the tempered seeds are roasted in a traditional earthen pot or a cast iron pan at high temperature and popped manually using a mallet or hammer. The hammering requires skilled manpower as a few seconds delay in hammering would lead to poor quality popped makhana. In some places, Makhana popping machines are used for safety and efficiency.

Although Makhana is a seasonal crop, it is commercially available throughout the year because of excellent shelf life.

What is Makhana Made Of

These small, round balls are powerhouses of energy and are highly nutritious. Makhana is low in Fat and high in Carbohydrates, Proteins and Minerals; a combination eagerly desired by today’s health-conscious society. The nutritional profile is similar to wheat and other power-packed cereals.

A 32g serving of Makhana (daily recommended dosage for adults) approximately adds up to 106 kCal, which is very reasonable. Since they have high protein and low-fat content, they help one stay full longer after eating. For the same reason, makhanas are great for dealing with untimely hunger pangs, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

Apart from being a good snack, makhana also has immense medicinal value and is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is neutral in nature and helps maintain a healthy balance in the body.

According to Ayurveda, makhanas have a Madhura (sweet) taste and are helpful for people with Pitta or Vata dosha. They also help increase strength and stamina, and provide nourishment to the heart, testes, uterus and ovaries.

More Health Benefits of Makhana

A Healthy Heart

Low in Sodium and High in Potassium, Makhana helps in regulating blood pressure. It is especially useful in helping pregnant women deal with Hypertension. Higher amounts of Magnesium in Makhana improve blood and oxygen levels and prevents the risk of heart diseases.

Diabetes? No Problem!

Makhana has a low Glycemic Index; which means it doesn’t spike your blood glucose levels immediately after eating. (If you are Diabetic, please consult a physician to know the healthy amount you can consume.)

Say Goodbye to Wrinkles

Makhana contains Flavonoids that help destroy free radicals in the body. This activity slows down the ageing process and prevents wrinkles, white and thinning hair. It also improves the circulatory system and lowers cholesterol levels.

Time For Some Detox?

Makhana is neutral in nature and helps in keeping your kidneys in good shape. It also helps in detoxifying the spleen.

Better Digestion

High fibre content in Makhana eases passage of bowels and helps deal with constipation and indigestion. Makhana is easily digested by all age groups, which makes it suitable for children and the elderly.

Relieves Postnatal Issues
Makhana is recommended for women during pregnancy and postnatal weaknesses. Being an aphrodisiac, it is also useful in treating sexual problems in men and women.

Final Thoughts

So How are you planning on using Makhana?

Popped makhana seeds are a great addition to a cooked Indian breakfast, curry or raita. You can even replace heavy, oily fries with crunchy and nutritious ghee-roasted makhanas for tea-time snack.

With different flavours of Makhana available in the market today, your taste buds are definitely in for a treat. After all, what are the odds to resist a snack that is both healthy and tasty?


Q: Are makhana fattening?

A: Makhanas are low on cholesterol, fat and sodium, therefore they are usually a part of maintaining a healthy weight diet.

Q: How much makhana to eat per day?

A: A handful is considered as an ideal portion. Although, 20 to 30gms of makhana per day is a safe bet. 

Q: Is Makhana good for thyroid?

A: Makhana or fox nuts are a great source of selenium, as many other nuts. selenium, which, according to a review published in 2017 in the International Journal of Endocrinology, helps the thyroid function properly.Therefore, makhana can help in reducing thyroid related issues.

Q: Is makhana good during pregnancy?

A: Makhana is considered as a very good food during pregnancy. It helps expecting mothers to control their blood pressure, insomnia and a great remedy for hunger cravings. Makhana is also a rich source of nutrition that can help in the development of the foetus. 

Limited Time Offer: Get Nummy Makhana and other makhana products at 10% OFF across our entire store. Use code NUMMY10 at checkout. Shop now!

What is Makhana? Everything You Need to Know About the Indian Superfood
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How to Use Makhana for Weight Loss (Healthy Makhana Recipes Included)

How to Use Makhanas or Lotus Seeds in Your Weight Loss Journey

The Makhana wave has started, and the superfood is quickly making a name for itself as an FMCG product.

The super nutritious snack that once used to go unnoticed on the supermarket aisles is now grabbing the attention of India’s health-conscious folks.

Why is this shift happening?

It turns out that Makhanas (also called lotus seeds, water lily seeds, and fox nuts) are not only tasty but have several health benefits. Here are a few Makhana  benefits you should know:

Makhana Benefits - Nummy Makhana

As you can see, one of the Makhana health benefits is “Weight Loss.”

Although using Makhana for weight loss is still a foreign idea to most people, the awareness is growing as more and more celebrities, and dieticians are recommending the healthy snack to the masses.

When a fitness icon and celebrity like Kareena Kapoor Khan swears by the health benefits of Makhanas, health buffs are bound to go bonkers over it. The actress grabbed a lot of media attention for her post-pregnancy transformation and also revealed in an interview that adding makhanas to her diet helped her shed weight and retain her glow.

If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight and are not sure how to use this newfound tool in your arsenal, we’ve got some tasty recipes to get you started.

But before that, let’s find out how makhanas can help you lose weight.

Is Makhana Good for Weight Loss?

Makhanas are a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates and are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. The nutritional profile of Makhana aids in weight loss by helping one stay full longer after eating.

Makhanas are especially helpful in dealing with untimely hunger pangs and are a great alternative to oily and processed snacks.

You might ask, “What about the calories?”

One of the reasons why Makhanas are a popular tea-time snack in the country is that they are low in calories. One cup of plain roasted makhanas (a 32 g serving) only adds up to 106 calories.

Makhanas have a detoxifying effect on the liver and boost metabolism, which helps with losing extra weight.

According to a study published by PubMed Central, Lotus seed has the potential to be developed as an effective agent against obesity-related diseases. While they aid in weight loss, researchers are also beginning to see that a Lotus seeds diet may slow down the process of weight gain for those who indulge in a high-fat diet.

How to Eat Makhana for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, Makhanas work best when consumed as a midday snack.

Untimely hunger pangs pose a big threat to our weight loss goals as we are prone to binging on oily and processed snacks at such times.

Preparing and storing a batch of roasted makhanas at home is a low-calorie, highly nutritious alternative over the fried chips and pakodas.

Here are the 3 best makhana recipes for weight loss.

1. Ghee Roasted Makhana

Place your Makhanas in a non-stick pan and dry roast them on low flame.

Keep roasting until the soft spongy makhanas turn crisp and reveal shades of brown. This might take about 7 to 8 minutes.

Once ready, switch off the flame and let the makhanas cool.

Now, add two teaspoons of ghee or olive oil (depending on your choice) to a separate hard bottomed pan.

When the ghee melts, add a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper.

Mix the ingredients well before adding the makhanas so that the flavours stick on well and are evenly distributed. You can add white sesame seeds for extra crunchiness.

Load the dry roasted makhanas into the pan and toss them on low flame. Do this until you feel that all the flavours have mixed well.

The yummy Ghee Roasted Makhana is now ready. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container for daily use.

2. Healthy Makhana Chivda

Add two teaspoons of ghee to a hard bottom pan. Then add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, some finely chopped green chilies, and some curry leaves.

Stir them for a minute and add a few peanuts.

Once the ingredients are fried well, top the mixture with some chana dal, red chillies, and cashews. You can also add dried coconut if you don’t mind the flavor.

Keep tossing until they are fried well.

Add salt and turmeric depending on your taste. The mixture is now ready to load the dry roasted makhanas.

Mix and roast the makhanas until they are well coated with the masala. Once done, allow it to cool and then transfer them into an airtight container for future use.

3. Mint Flavored Makhana

This is a refreshing snack for your body during the summer.

Start as stated in the earlier recipes. Once the ghee melts, add some curry leaves and pumpkin seeds and stir until they are fried well. Then, add a pinch of rock salt (or table salt) and pepper for flavoring.

Roasted makhanas are now added to the pan and topped with herbs of choice.

Finally, add a teaspoon of mint (pudina) powder and mix the ingredients until the flavors are evenly distributed.

Your refreshing mint makhana is now ready for use.

You can customize the recipes by blending roasted makhanas with herbs and spices of your choice.

If you are more into sweets, choosing jaggery based makhana sweets is a good option over sugar based ones.

Final Thoughts

For best results, pair Makhanas with a healthy diet and exercise. Stick to your regular meals and avoid crash diets for healthy weight loss.

As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is too bad.” Refrain from overconsumption as it may cause allergies and gastrointestinal issues.

When consumed in the right quantity and right manner, makhana can be your best weight loss companion.

So how are you planning on using Makhana in your weight loss journey? Please do share with us in the comments below.

Looking for more healthy Makhana recipes? Try these quick and easy Makhana recipes to add the right dose of nutrition in your daily diet.


How much makhana to eat in a day for weight loss?

You can have 30g of makhana in a day to kickstart your weight loss journey

When to eat makhana for weight loss?

You can have makhana during your snack time. Consider it as a snack and not a meal. 

How many calories does one bowl of makhana have?

One bowl of plain roasted makhana will have approximately 106 calories.

How to eat makhana for weight loss?

Apart from the healthy recipes shared above, you can also make sure you add spices like pepper and turmeric that aid weight loss to your own recipes of makhana

Is makhana easy to digest?

Lotus seeds contain antioxidants which makes it an easy to digest food. People from all age groups can digest makhana without any problems. However, refrain from consuming a lot of makhana in one day. 

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Note: This blog post was first published on May 6, 2020 and has been updated regularly since then.

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Can You Eat Makhana in Keto Diet? We FINALLY have the Answer!

Is Makhana allowed in keto diet? That is a question that seems to be on everyone’s mind.

Makhana is the vogue food in many weight loss regimes. Because makhana is low in calories and fat, it is considered good for weight-loss. Also, with low Glycemic Index (GI), consuming makhana keeps you full for a longer period which is good if you want to lose weight. 

Having a healthy body is more important than mindlessly attempting to lose weight. In this attempt to play the ‘size-zero’ game, we sometimes miss out on vital nutrients. Our mind and body need macro and micronutrients to function and flourish. 

But some weight-loss regimes can starve your body of these nutrients. In the endeavor to balance weight and nutrition, experts have welcomed the superfood makhana with open arms. Makhana not only helps in weight loss but also provides the body with required nutrition.

A new entrant in the weight-management genre is Keto diet. Keto is a low carb, high fat diet. It is replacing carbohydrate intake with fat. In this process, our body burns the fat into energy. Keto diet has proven beneficial in weight loss and lowering risk of diseases.

The question now is whether fox nuts can be part of the Keto diet. 

The answer is ‘No’ and ‘Yes’. It is not a firm ‘No’. Let’s see how.

Look at the nutritional value of a bowl of makhana:

Calories: 109Cal

Carbs – 21g

Fat – 0

Protein – 5g

As you can see, it is high in carb (considered good carb) and low on fat which is opposite of Keto diet of low carb and high fat. So, if you go by the definition, Makhana doesn’t qualify to be in the Keto diet game. 

But nutrition is complex! 

Even though makhana is not a technical qualifier in the Keto game, it does offer benefits and it can be part of your Keto diet in moderation. 

5 Reasons to Eat Makhana in a Keto Diet

1. Makhana is Light

Makhana is very light in weight and a bowl of makhana will fill you up. It will keep you full for a long time. In Keto diet, you can consume up to 50gms of carbs in a day. A bowl of makhana has only about 20gms of carbs. So, a bowl or 2 is within limits. A better way of consuming makhana in keto is given below.

2. High on Fibre

Fox nuts are high in fibre. Carbohydrates with fibre is considered good. So, when you look at this combination, makhana can be part of Keto diet when consumed in the prescribed quantity.

3. Combining Makhana with Fat 

Makhana is usually roasted and seasoned with ghee, oil and masala. It is also consumed as dessert or kheer or porridge with milk. Combining makhana with oil or milk can be a good way of having fat in a keto diet. Try combining makhana with olive oil, coconut oil, cheese, milk and your Keto diet is set.

4. Makhana Helps with Quality of Food in Keto

Most of the time, in Keto diet, we get caught up counting carbs without paying attention to the quality of food. Our body needs nutrition and makhana is one such food which is a powerhouse of nutrients. Quality of food in keto matters!

5. Makhana Helps Transition into your Keto Diet

With Keto, we often try to cut the carbs and increase fat too much and too quickly. Our body needs to be smoothly transitioned into any change in our diet. Keto is no exception to this. Just starting Keto without giving any notice to your body, you are inviting trouble. Instead have makhanas and slowly moderate the quantity of makhana. This will help your body transition well. Having makhana in the beginning of your keto diet is a good option.

We are not cancelling fox nuts from Keto diet, but it is important to follow the combination and intake quantity while adding it to your Keto diet. Afterall, makhana is a natural superfood. It does not have disadvantages. It just needs to be moderated for Keto. 

Quantity of Makhana in Keto

Makhana is so light and yummy, that you would’ve binged on it without realizing how much has gone in. Binging on makhana is great but not when you are on Keto diet. 

Restrict intake of makhana to a bowl or two per day and not more than that. Split the intake into 2 parts in a day. Consume half of it during the first half of the day and remaining part during the second half. This way you will not overeat and at the same time feel full. 

Easy Makhana Recipes for Keto Diet

Recipe 1 – Roasted Makhana in Virgin Olive or Coconut Oil

Roast a bowl of makhana on low flame for 5-7 minutes and keep it aside

Take 2 spoons of virgin olive or coconut oil in a pan on low heat

Add roasted makhana to the pan and mix

Add a pinch of salt and pepper powder and mix well.

Enjoy the warm crunchy makhanas

Recipe 2 – Cheesy Makhana

Roast a bowl of makhana with little olive oil on low flame for 5-7mins

Add 1-2 spoons of cheese powder along with a pinch of salt

Mix well and enjoy cheesy fox nuts

Another simple way is to just log on to our shop page and order Nummy’s Cheesy Makhana

Recipe 3 – Peanut Makhana Smoothie

In a mixer, take 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

1 tablespoon of roasted makhana powder

¼ cup of heavy cream and a cup of ice. Blend well and enjoy!

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Makhana Salad Recipe

Makhana Salad Recipe


1. Diced carrot – 1

2. Diced beetroot – 1

3. Chopped cucumber – 1

4. Chopped tomato – 1

5. Pumpkin seeds – 1 tbsp

6. Black salt – as per taste

7. Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

8. Roasted makhana – half cup


1. Dry roast the makhana

2. Add all the vegetables in a bowl

3. Add pumpkin seeds, black salt and lemon juice to the bowl

4. Add roasted makhana and give it a good stir

Enjoy this salad immediately for freshness, fibre, and instant energy…

Makhana Salad Recipe
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Makhana and Dry Fruits Health Drink Mix Recipe

Makhana and Dry Fruits Health Drink Mix Recipe

Need a healthy pick-me-up drink to give you a quick energy boost? This Makhana and Dry Fruits Health Drink Mix is the perfect drink to kickstart your day.

And it’s super easy to prepare. Here’s the recipe:

Makhana and Dry Fruits Health Drink Mix Recipe


1. Roasted makhana – 2 cups

2. Almonds – 1 cup

3. Walnuts – 1 cup

4. Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp

5. White sesame seeds – 3 tbsp

6. Pinch of saffron


1. Dry roast makhana till it turns crunchy

2. Dry roast fennel seeds

3. Dry roast white sesame seeds

4. Dry roast the dry fruits – almonds, walnuts, saffron

5. Add all the ingredients in a mixer and make fine powder

6. Add 1 tablespoon of this powder to warm or cold milk and enjoy

Tadaaaa….your healthy makhana and dry fruits mix can be stored and used as you wish.

Recipe credit: Sharada Prabhu, Bangalore

Makhana and Dry Fruits Health Drink Mix Recipe