Friday, December 14, 2007

No Frills Friday - Lotus Root Curry

A low-fat, low-cal creamy crunch, lotus root
is water chestnut's girlie cousin.

Drenched in coconut curry, the girl turns as
sultry as Sri Lanka.

Wagon wheels, they ain't.

Nelum AlaSri Lankan Curried Lotus Root – Slightly adapted from


1 - 14 oz. can lotus root, drained, rinsed and sliced into coins or 2 cups of fresh slices from peeled tubers (small, young roots work best)
3 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 small hot green chili peppers, chopped
1 large shallot, the size of a small onion, chopped
1 small sprig curry leaves (about 10 leaves)
½ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Sri Lankan Curry Blend from Seasoned Pioneers)
½ - 1 teaspoon salt or to taste


In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except the chopped shallot, ghee, curry powder and salt. Gently simmer for 15 minutes over very low heat. In a small skillet, fry the chopped shallot in melted ghee until it is transparent and somewhat frizzled. Add the fried shallot to the lotus root, stirring well. Add the curry powder and salt, again stirring well. Extend gentle simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with hot basmati rice garnished with cumin seeds. Serves 2. –

This post is being submitted to Astrid of Paulchen's Food Blog, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging for Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen, the creator of this popular weekly food event.


Kalyn said...

Wow, this sounds so interesting. I've seen a few blog posts about lotus root but never seen it for sale here. I wonder if the Asian markets might have it; they're clear across town and I rarely make it there. Great post, saving now for future reference!

Mishmash ! said...

the third pic is really good....did you like the wonderful aroma of curry leaves..? I usually add some leaves towards the end to retain the freshness of the herbs in the dish...:)


Lucy said...

Exquisite images Susan.

Aren't curry leaves a) leafy and gorgeous and b) the most heavenly fragrance?

Likin' No Frills Friday more and more!

Suganya said...

Beautiful Susan. Lotus root is a girl with fluttering eyes :).

How was the canned roots? Too soft? Too mushy?

Simona said...

I have never seen lotus root. It looks very interesting. Great photos!

Shaun said...

Susan, lovie - Quick and healthy is this curry. I love the comparison of textures that you make between water chestnuts and lotus root; it is dead on. I love the touch of cumin seeds on the nutty basmati rice.

Johanna said...

Oh so cute! I haven't seen lotus roots before and now I have a yen to find them and make your curry.

sra said...

These are popular in North India but I've only ever once seen them in the South. Didn't much like the taste. I saw them in Thailand, though, in the market.

We get lotus seeds, though, they are quite nice.

Rosa said...

I love the way this looks so exotic yet sounds so simple to make. It's a reminder that easy meals don't need to be boring!

Dhanggit said...

i have a kilo of lotus root sleeping in my freeze.;next month it will celebrate its five month old anniversary..i bought it in an asian grocery but aside from using them in some ramen (japanese noodle) soup i dont know how to use them..thanks for sharing this recipe..i can finally cook them :-D

Christina said...

I've never had lotus root, but now this is another things I've yet to try! You do such a good job introducing your readers to new flavors and textures!

redactedrecipes said...

Beautiful. And something it would never occur to me to tackle.


Richa said...

groovy! with that kind of spice mix, it has to taste good :)
hey, btw a Q, when u said ricotta cream cheese, did u mean ricotta & cc together or is it a cheese in itself? i definitely need to try it if it tastes anything like my beloved

Susan said...

Kalyn – Thanks! Odds are the Asian markets in your town do stock it, even if only in cans. For canned veggies, the quality is very good, at least for the Swad brand I purchased in an Indian grocer.
Thank you, Shn. I’m crazy about curry leaves, better than any incense I frequently have burning around here…and I do love incense!
Thanks, Lucy dear. Heavenly and indescribable, curry leaves are ridiculously well-priced and do make all the difference in an Indian recipe if it’s called for.
Suganya – Thanks! The canned root from Swad was excellent. Good texture, firm, creamy and nutty. I highly recommend as an alternative to the fresh.
Thanks, Simona. Lotus root is interesting, indeed. You can occasionally find them as an element in dried floral arrangements. They have a strange beauty.
Shaun – This was very quick…and successful, which only makes me more determined to learn the finer details of Indian cuisine. I knew you’d like the cumin; a little goes a long fragrant way. I remember that flatbread you made a while ago.
Thanks, Johanna. They are cute, each slice no bigger than a U.S. quarter coin piece. You may have seen them before, but didn’t recognize them. Unpeeled and intact, they look like spaghetti squash. It’s only when you slice into them that their beauty is revealed.
Sra – China and Thailand feature lotus root frequently in their recipes. I haven’t tasted the seeds yet, but it’s just a matter of time. : )
Rosa – Curries don’t have to be complicated. I took a while researching one that would be quick and satisfying.
Dhanggit – It’s time those roots wake up! You may be pleasantly surprised. I’d like a few floating in a bowl of ramen, udon or soba myself. Now you’ve got me thinking of the mugwort soba asleep in my own cupboard. : )
Thanks, Christina. You have access to some of the finest produce available. There are a couple of tubers waiting somewhere with your name on them.
Hi, Ann. – Thank you. It wasn’t on my radar until I happened to find it on a grocer’s shelf. It may never have occurred to me, either, though I have seen a few other bloggers post on it.
Thanks, Richa. What I’d meant about the mascarpone is that it has the light, sweet taste of ricotta and the dense, decadent texture of cream cheese – best of both worlds!