Monday 15 July 2013

Crispy Lotus Stem with Honey Chilly

Of late, this show called 'World Kitchen' on NDTV Good Times has caught my fancy. It has a host of professional chefs taking us on a gastromic journey across the globe. Last week,  Executive chef Sahil Arora from Courtyard by Mariott, New Delhi showed how to make Crispy Lotus stem with honey chilli. Both my kids being extremely fond of chilly potatoes I quickly jotted down the recipe making a mental note to try it out the very next day itself. The dish was not only amazingly simple to make but it was outstanding in taste too. For all the health conscious people out there you will find a whole lot of health benefits from lotus stem as it is rich in calcium, iron and dietary fibre.
 Lotus stem is not new to Indian cooking but this is one variation that will definitely have you asking for more. This avatar of lotus stem was totally new to me - crispy and crunchy with the sweet and spicy flavors exploding in your mouth. Kids loved it asking for more. My son even declared it to be better than his favorite chilly potatoes calling these much more crunchier, which is quite a compliment for me. As it is seeing your kids relish a dish made by you (especially one that you don't have to slog over) completely makes your day!! 
So, for all those who haven't as yet had a taste of this wonderful vegetable, this is one great way to start on it.

Lotus stem - 200 gms  –sliced diagonally into wafer thin slices 
Whole dry red chili - 3 to 4
Honey - 2 tsp
Tomato ketchup - 2 tsp
Soy sauce - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Chili paste - 1/2 tsp
Roasted sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Spring onions -  2 tbsp
Cornflour - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Soak the sliced lotus stem in a bowl of water for about half an hour. This will help to get rid of the mud.
Scrub it clean and wash thoroughly under running water.
In a bowl place the drained lotus stem and sprinkle with 2 tsp cornflour.
Mix it in thoroughly to coat it nicely.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the lotus stem till it is light golden brown and crispy.
Drain in a bowl lined with paper to drain the excess oil
Next take 2 tsp oil in a pan. 
Break and add 2 whole red chillies and fry them for a couple of seconds.
Add 1 tsp minced garlic and saute till lightly browned.
On a low flame, add 1/2 tsp chilli paste, (I didn't have chilli paste available so I just added in a tsp of Hot and Sweet Maggi tomato sauce) and 2 tsp honey and 2 tsp tomato ketchup. 
Stir and cook the sauce for a few minutes. 
Add the soya sauce, vinegar and the salt and mix.
Add in the fried lotus stem and toss on high flame till they are nicely coated with the sauce.
Garnish with diced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Serve immediately.

To make the chilli paste at home - oven roast a handful of red chillies. Crush them coarsely in a grinder. Mix the ground chilies with 2 tbsp of garlic and fry them in 4 tbsp oil till golden brown (oil helps in preserving the paste). Add a sprinkle of soy sauce,1/2 tsp sugar and salt and mix thoroughly. This paste can be kept in the refrigerator for a 3-4 weeks.


  1. I tasted this at some marriage reception and loved it. Thank you for sharing the recipe... I'm sure Sangita is going to love this one! :)

    Arvind Passey

  2. looks so appealing ! will try it out!