Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ K is for Kamal Kakri

lotus root
the beautiful shapes of sliced lotus root

lotus rootΒ pakoras
snow-white inside, golden-crispy outside

It’s Saturday again — time for lovely Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables!

“K” is for kamal kakri, or lotus root. Widely known in Asia, it is just one of many edible parts of the perennial plant classified as nelumbo nucifera. Lotus root has a fairly bland taste, with a texture somewhere between that of a potato and a water chestnut. Wiki states that lotus root (actually a rhizome) has been found to be rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C, among other nutrients, as well as low in fat.

What’s that you say? A nutritious vegetable that is low in fat??? I can fix that πŸ™‚

lotus root pakoras
spicy lotus root pakoras

The shape of lotus root is so lovely; it always seems a shame to chop it up. I decided to be decadent and fry the slices whole, as pakoras. I was really excited about the batter — an experiment that turned out better than any I’ve made yet. I was in the mood for something spicy and feeling lazy, so I used Badshah meat masala in the mix, and plenty of it. You could use any blend you prefer. Lotus root mimics potato in holding its shape for frying; unlike potato, it retains its crunchy texture inside. I wanted my son to try one, so I told him it was a french fry. He promptly gobbled it up and then told me it was good, but undercooked πŸ˜‰

Lotus Root Pakoras

1/2 – 3/4c sliced lotus root (mine was water-packed from an oriental market — fresh would need to be cleaned and boiled)

1/3 c besan
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 TB rice flour
1 TB thin poha
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Badshah meat masala (or any spice mix you prefer)

6 TB water

oil for deep-frying

Sift the besan and baking powder into a bowl. Add the rice flour, poha, salt and spices and mix well. Add the water, 1 TB at a time, until you have a medium thick batter. Let the batter rest 15 min.

Lay the sliced lotus root between paper towels to absorb moisture — this helps the batter adhere.

In a kadai or other deep pan, heat oil for deep-frying over medium heat. When the oil is ready, dip the slices into the batter and drain the excess before sliding into the oil. Fry slowly on medium heat about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain well on more paper towels, sprinkle with salt if desired, and serve hot.

lotus root pakoras on Imperial glass
crispy pakoras of crunchy lotus root and yogurt mixed with cilantro chutney ~ served on a canary yellow Twisted Optic snack set by Imperial Glass, circa 1920

Thank you, Nupur, for this continuing alphabetical adventure!

And now I must hop off to the bunny-hole, for even teenagers like candy on Easter morning. For those celebrating, have a Happy Easter, and for those who are not, have a Happy Weekend!


  1. Coffee said

    Hahahaha uncooked!!!! Smart boy!!! πŸ˜‰

    Beautiful looking pakoras linda!!!!! Nice change to the ever common potato πŸ™‚

    Thanks Coffee — yea, he’s smart. Glad to know he’s learning something in college πŸ˜‰ The lotus roots were a nice change and, an extra bonus for me, lower in calories. Not that it matters much once they’re dunked in oil!!!

  2. Menu Today said

    Hi linda,

    Different version of Pakkoda. I never tried Lotus roots. How it will taste???
    Nice looking pakodas, thanks for sharing.

    Hi MT — I should have put something in about the taste — I was in such a hurry last night. Thanks for pointing it out — I’ve added it now. Lotus roots are fairly bland. If you get them cooked, they’re usually packed in some sort of acidulated water in order to preserve their color. This big water-pack I got from the Asian grocery came in the refrigerated section. The texture was crispy, even when I boiled a few further as an experiment. It’s something like an underdone potato — or water chestnut. Not unpleasant in any way, at least not to me. If you try sometime, let me know how you like them πŸ™‚

  3. asha said

    I have never eaten this either!! You are more Desi than me Linda!;D
    Look good and very unique veg entry for K.Now on to L now!

    Maybe it’s all that great food at FH and Aroma rubbing off on me, Asha πŸ˜‰ Loved your “K” entry too — on to “L” indeed πŸ™‚

  4. Nupur said

    Lotus root is the prettiest thing! I have only eaten it once before, and that was when a Chinese friend in NYC made some lovely creation of lotus root slices filled with something, then pan-fried. Your pakoras are absolutely mouth-watering!

    Thank you Nupur πŸ™‚ I’ve seen those stuffed lotus roots in Chinese cookbooks — must venture to try that sometime, too. Lucky you with a homemade version to sample! πŸ™‚

  5. Latha said

    Wow Linda, would have never have thought of something like this. How very creative! Lovely pictures too.. just super with a hot cup of tea! yummm

    Thanks Latha — drop on by anytime for a plate and a cuppa πŸ™‚

  6. indosungod said

    Linda, like the undercooked “French Fry” but it sure looks much prettier than any french fry. Our Korean store’s roof caught fire during a thunderstorm last summer and I am still visiting the other one which is not far. I shall soon and try and get this Lotus root.

    Check in the refrigerated section, ISG — they are not very expensive. What a shame about the store catching fire — thunderstorms scare me that way.

  7. sandeepa said

    Hey liked your idea of adding Masala to the Pakodi Batter. Never bought Lotus Roots. Shall be on the look out

    Adding the masala was a lazy time-saver idea, Sandeepa πŸ˜‰ Anxious to see what you might whip up with lotus root πŸ™‚

  8. mandira said

    I’ve eaten this once before, cooked Kashmiri style. The pakoda looks delicious Linda. Happy Easter!

    Thank you Mandira — hope you had a nice holiday weekend! πŸ™‚

  9. bee said

    they’re yummy, aren’t they? we love this veggie. thanks for highlighting it, linda.

    I’ll watch for a lotus root creation from you, Bee πŸ™‚

  10. Prema said

    Hi Linda,
    When i entered ur blog I just saw the picture and was wondering what it was. It looked liked a kind of sweet murrukku(we call it ‘achi murukku’ in tamil
    They really look wonderful ..mouthwatering..I was really surprised to read it was lotus roots.
    I have never seen lotus roots. where can u find them?
    I have bookmarked this recipe…

    Hi Prema, I’m glad you liked them! I got these in an Asian grocery store in the refrigerated section. If you try, I hope you enjoy! πŸ™‚

  11. Vani said

    These look beautiful..:)
    Kamal kakdi or ‘Bhain’ is pretty popular in North India.The most common recipe I have seen/had is Kamal Kakdi ka achar ( Pickled Lotus Roots).I would love to try this one out.

    Thanks Vani πŸ™‚ Will have to look for the pickled version.

  12. musical said

    Lotus root is my favorite. This recipe sounds yummy and crunchy :).

    I agree with what Vani says. Kamal kakri, bhein, nadru (Kashmiri) is used in more than one ways in some types of Indian cuisines. Punjabis make it with potatoes (after deep frying/toasting/baking the lotus root slices) along with masal wadis sometimes, besides the pickles. Another Punjabi favorite is lotus root koftas. Kashmiris cook these after frying with greens like Kale or Spinach. and also they make a tangy lotus root gravied dish.

    Indian lotus root is more tender andslender than whats available here, but i love this vegetable anyway…..Great going, Linda.

    Oh, I bet they’d be delicious in a gravy Musical. These are not really tender — I would like to try the Indian type sometime!

  13. seema said

    Linda I have had lotus roots in pickels and I have always loved it. I never knew you could even buy them here. Those pakoras looks yummilicious. I am sure it must have been hit. Gotto get hole of this now.

    Thank you, Seema πŸ™‚ I’ll be on the lookout for pickles now too!

  14. Reena said

    Linda, I have never had Lotus roots. How do they taste? The pakoras sure looks crisy and just the way I like them.

    Hi Reena, and thanks! These lotus roots are fairly bland, a little crunchy — something like a cross between potato and water chestnuts πŸ™‚

  15. Richa said

    Hi Linda,
    the pakoras look so yummy & crunchy! thanks for reminding me about it.
    nice listening to your radio.
    Thanks for your generous words on my blog.

    Hi Richa, I’m glad you enjoyed the pakoras and the song. Glad I found your blog, must add a bookmark πŸ™‚

  16. Ranjani said

    Hi, I’m visiting your blog for the first time . Its very nice.
    like many said above, even i have never tasted lotus roots..looks yummy:)

    Hi Ranjani, and thanks! Glad you stopped by πŸ™‚

  17. Arjuna said

    Pakodas are looking real pretty, never tried cooking with lotus root although the shape has intrigued me always..
    Serveware looks beautiful!

    They are a pretty shape aren’t they Arjuna? Glad you enjoyed the dishes πŸ™‚

  18. Mishmash! said

    Linda, I dont even know how this lotus roots taste like !! they look pretty too,but what’s more pretty is ur snack set..i loved the colour !!

    Hope you had lots of fun and food for Easter πŸ™‚

    Thank you, Shn, I hope you had a great weekend too! Isn’t that the wildest color? They called it ‘canary yellow’ back in the 20s. You would like the lotus root — it’s very bland so will be good in a curry I think πŸ™‚

  19. very different !! now a days u come up with more innovative dishes and cook with a lot of different ingredients.. u r smart!!

    Thanks Maneka — I don’t know about smart, but I’m sure learning all the time! πŸ˜‰

  20. I have never seen lotus root before. Pakoras looks different and delicious.
    Nice Job , very unique Linda:)

    Thank you Jaspa! πŸ™‚

  21. Trupti said

    you’re too much, you know that??? No Fair, tempting us all with your crispies, and I don’t even get that here in NL….*stomping*

    kiddin’ ya….you go girl!

    Hi Trupti, I think I need to put a care package together for you! *Stomping* — that made me laugh. It’s how I feel many times at “Spice Who Loved Me” when I see a dish I would like to taste *now* πŸ˜‰

  22. sharmi said

    hey Linda, That looks really delicious!! never have tried making it and dont know how the frozen ones would taste. but yours looks so tempting.


    Hi Sharmi, glad you enjoyed! I have never seen frozen lotus root — I wonder if it would be softer. Thanks and will look out for those πŸ™‚

  23. MeltingWok said

    Linda, I’m so lucky today, my blogging days been cut short, and today is like the 4th/5th day since I last blog or have time to go through e’one’s lovely post, and what did I find, lotus rottttttttttttsssssssss, I love uuuuuuu ! This is better than my skinny buttered curry lotus root fries, I want chunks of tt pakoras nowwwwwwww hehe πŸ™‚

    I thought they might call out to you, Shirley πŸ˜‰ I still want to try your buttery curry too!

  24. padmaja said

    woh!!! linda!! those look so tempting!!!!
    nice idea!!

    Thank you, Padmaja! πŸ™‚

  25. Your pakodas look delicious. I too have never eaten lotus roots. I had no idea that they are used in cooking. We always get introduced to new ingredients in this blog world. Don’t we?

    Thank you Suma. Learning about new foods and dishes, etc, is one of my favorite parts of blogging! πŸ™‚

  26. […] Lotus root pakoras (fritters)  dairy food kashmiri Lotus Root RECIPES yogurt dairy, food, kashmiri, Lotus Root, […]

  27. Rita said

    It sounds like a very Exotic Dish and going to give a try later on today!

    If you tried, Rita, I hope you enjoyed! They’re YUM πŸ™‚

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