What is Lotus Root?
Its Common names are Kamal kakdi, sacred lotus, Indian lotus, and Chinese lotus root. Its scientific name is Nelumbo nucifera. The lotus root is the root of the plant that grows underwater in muddy ponds. It is a crunchy and starchy vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked in various ways. It has many health benefits, such as providing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is also low in calories and fat.
How to Grow Lotus Root?
lotus root is a popular edible root in Asia Chinese and Japanese dishes. It’s not used only for cooking flowers gorgeous in landscaping. It took 5 to 8 months to harvest and it’s normally planted in spring. it produces pink and white blossoms in the early summer. Later in the season, lotus tubers and seeds can be harvested for food or replanting. Place the tuber in the mud against the side of the container.
The shoots should be pointed up. Cover the rhizome with a bit of mud so only the shoots are poking out. Then add at least an inch of water (it doesn’t have to completely cover the shoots).
You can now move the potted lotus plant to your pond. Settle the container in a shallow part of the pond where it’ll get lots of sunlight. There should be at least a foot of water above the top of the pot. In about 2 weeks, you’ll notice leaves below the surface. Wait until the flowers fade in early fall to start harvesting.
Retrieve the pot from its watery home and clip back the stems. Then dig up all the rhizomes and set aside any you want to plant next spring. The rhizomes are viable for at least 50 years, so you can hang onto them for a while. Just keep them in a cool, dark place until they’re needed.
For the roots you’re going to eat, give them a good wash and keep them in the fridge. As long as they’re kept cool and in the dark, they’ll last all winter.
Origin of Lotus Root.
Lotus grows native to Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and the Middle East.
Varieties of Lotus Root,
If you look closely at the slices of lotus root, you may notice some have seven holes and others have nine. While the taste proves similar, the seven-hole root is softer and gets used for soups and dehydrating, while the nine-hole variety works better raw on salads, pickled, and put into a stir fry.
There’s also the Jingtang lotus root, which is long and thin; as opposed to the usual short and squat. It can grow three to six feet long and is prized among the lotus root varietals. Overall there are around 300 types of lotus flowers with edible roots,
What Does Lotus Root Taste Like?
Young, fresh lotus root has a crunchy texture and sweet flavor when consumed raw. Immature roots can be identified by their white to purplish skin. Older roots turn brown with darker speckles. When harvesting mature lotus root for food, longer cooking times are used to produce a tender starchy vegetable similar to potatoes.
Top 7 Ways to Use Lotus Root.
Lotus root is often used across Asian cuisines in the form of pickles fries, and curries. All parts of the lotus root plant are edible. The stems are consumed like a green vegetable and the leaves can be substituted for flour-based wraps. But the primary reason for growing lotus root is the starchy tuber. the lotus root vegetable can be prepared using several cooking techniques:
- Deep Frying
Substitutes for Lotus Root.
Some chefs use Jicama as a substitute for lotus root. You can use salsify as an alternative to lotus root due to its mild flavor and crunchy texture. Salsify is a classic European vegetable, which means that it does not show up in traditional Asian recipes; however, it should bring many of the same nutrients and other benefits.
Burdock root plays the same role in Japanese cooking that Jicama plays in traditional Mexican cooking and that salsify plays in many classical European dishes. It is a great lotus root substitute due to its subtle flavor and the fact that it is white and crisp.
Rutabaga is another starchy root vegetable that you can use in many of the dishes that call for lotus root. Rutabaga can be consumed raw but is most often boiled and mashed, baked, or fried
How to pick the best Lotus Root.
- Choose lotus roots that are fat, heavy, and firm.
- Make sure the color is light brown for freshness and that there are no bruises or cracks.
- Avoid lotus roots with incomplete bumps.
- Store unwashed lotus roots in a loosely tied bag in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Health Benefits of Lotus Root.
It is also great for weight loss and helps improve digestion. Here are its five health benefits.
1- Helps manage blood pressure
The high quantity of potassium present in lotus roots ensures a balance of fluids in the body. If you eat a lot of salt, then lotus roots do not allow the blood to absorb the extra salt and it also helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood. It increases blood circulation and reduces the risk of heart disease.
2- Good for weight loss
Lotus root has fewer calories and is loaded with dietary fiber which keeps you full for a longer period. It also helps in weight loss.
3- Helps reduce stress
Lotus root is packed with vitamin B complex which helps in reducing stress, memory loss, headaches, and irritability. Consuming this vegetable regularly can help you relax and promote your mental clarity.
4- Boosts digestion
High in dietary fiber, lotus root helps add bulk to the stool and promotes smooth bowel movements. This helps prevent constipation, boost your digestion, and keep gastric problems at bay.
5- Great boost for skin and hair
Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, lotus root is great for your skin health and makes it smooth and glowing. Vitamin C makes your skin healthy and firm. It also prevents premature greying of hair and strengthens the scalp, giving you a healthy mane.
Where to buy Lotus Root.
You can buy lotus root in Dubai from Fruits and Vegetables | Fruits & Vegetable (freshleafuae.com)