During the pandemic, most of us have spent considerable time in the kitchen and have realised that cooking is no easy feat. Preparing a dish not only entails cooking but also buying, cleaning and chopping vegetables. And thanks to our kitchen chronicles, we have also come to know that while some vegetables hardly take time to be cleaned and chopped, there are some others which require you to put in the effort; and one such veggie is kamal kakdi or lotus stem. It is used in Indian cuisine to make a variety of dishes including curries and koftas.
Lotus stem is known to be a powerhouse of nutrients because it is full of vitamin C which is needed for the body’s various functions; potassium that is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels; vitamin B which is good for reducing stress and irritability; and dietary fibre that keeps you fuller for longer. The root also helps prevent water retention issues that many people experience due to the presence of potassium that absorbs the excess sodium in the body.
But how to do you buy, clean, and cut kamal kakdi?
Here’s your complete guide, courtesy chef Saransh Goila.
What to keep in mind when buying kamal kakdi?
Ensure both sides are closed so that it is not muddy inside the vegetable. If it is open from one side, it tends to accumulate mud due to the open pores.
How to clean it?
Chop both ends. Peel the stem using a peeler and ensure all the fibrous peels come out. Once done, wash it thoroughly; this includes spraying water inside the pores too.
Now cut the lotus stem in a slanting angle. That’s because “lotus stem is hairy, and it becomes tough to cut it in a straight way, and at the same time, it won’t cook as well,” Goila explained.
It is entirely up to you on how you wish to cut the vegetable – finely or into big chunks.
What to do if you still see dirt inside some pieces?
Either clean with a toothpick, or a cotton bud or soak the pieces in warm water for about 15 minutes. Strain the water. Take the lotus stem pieces out.
“The brown specs inside the lotus stem is not dirt. It is just the way a lotus stem is,” said Goila.
Lotus stems can be fried, boiled to make a sabzi or kofta.
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