Lotus stem or kamal kakdi is a favorite of mine for its crunchy texture and taste that can take on any flavors. I have enjoyed it in mixed pickles. But I wanted to make a good curry out of it. The recipe I am sharing with you is my own brainwave. I teamed it with the very spicy Amritsari wadi that my husband had brought from his trip there. Those are quite spicy and hot and I felt would balance the blandness of lotus stem perfectly. And, I was very happy when the curry turned out tasty so much so that even my younger son loved it. Of course, he ate it without the wadis (too spicy for him).
So let me share this easy to rustle up dish
Preparation time: Chopping the lotus stem 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes including frying of wadis
Lotus stem: 250 gms. cleaned and cut into thin rounds
2 large Amritsari wadis (Go easy on them because they are fiery spicy)
1 large tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
salt to taste
Oil for frying + 2 tsp. oil for the gravy
Method: Cook the chopped lotus stem with 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. Let it cool down on its own. Meanwhile, in a kadhai or wok, heat up some oil. Break up the wadis into smaller pieces. I shallow fry the wadis till they are nice and crispy. You can deep fry as well. Keep aside.
In a pan, take two tsp. oil and heat it. Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds and wait for them to sputter. Now add ginger-garlic paste and cook it for a couple of minutes. If it becomes too dry, add a little water and roast it till the raw smell goes. Now tip in the tomato puree and cook some more. Add turmeric and garam masala powder and add the cooked lotus stem along with the water they were cooked in. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning especially salt. Toward the end, tip in the fried wadis and cook for a couple of minutes more. Taste again and check seasoning.
You can finish with some finely chopped coriander leaves. The thin gravy is simple yet tasty. Goes well with chapatis and rice. Enjoy!