When we moved to Malaysia, I made a resolution to include as many local delicacies as possible in our day to day meals. That is a tough proposition since we are vegetarians (flexible on eggs) and this is a seafood paradise. So, as a first step, I decided to start adapting local vegetables that aren’t so common in India. My first experiment was with the turnip and it turned out quite yumm.
The next item I had my eyes on was lotus roots. Not very pretty to look at but intriguing all the same. The first time I picked it up, I forgot about it and found it a week later at the bottom of my veggie tray in the fridge. You don’t want to know more. This time I kept it next to the milk so that I looked at it thrice a day.
No recipe I found was very exciting. Finally I decided that frying anything should only end up in tasty-land. But last week I came across quite a few recipes on baked chips. So I decided to do both. So here goes –
WHAT WE NEED
1 Lotus Root
1/2 – 1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Sesame Powder
1 tsp Vinegar
1 Lotus Root
1/2 tsp Chilly Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Vinegar
2 Cups Water
WHAT TO DO
Irrespective of whether you are frying or baking, you need to –
- Mix the vinegar and water. Keep aside
- Wash, wash and wash the lotus root. It’s a root.
- Cut off the ends.
- Admire the design inside
- Peel the skin
- Slice it thinly
- Soak it in the vinegar water and forget about it for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep for the next steps – lay out some tissues to dry the roots when they are taken out of water.
- If you are baking then grease the baking tray with some olive oil. Dry roast and grind the pepper. If you don’t have cumin and sesame powder. Dry roast and grind them too.
- If you are frying then pour some oil in a pan, set out tissues to catch the extra oil. Get that cumin powder.
15 minutes not yet done? Ok, superhuman, go get a glass of water and take a deep breath.
- Drain the water from the lotus root slices.
- Place each slice individually on the tissue paper to soak up the remaining water.
- Place another tissue on top to quicken the drying out process.
Take a moment to look at the semi wet tissue on top. It would have pretty lotus root imprints all over.
- Preheat the oven to 190C
- Put all the slices in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, extra virgin, olive oil, ground pepper, cumin powder, sesame powder and salt.
- Toss like a pro to coat all the slices with the oils and seasoning.
- If you are not a pro and tried tossing, spend a couple of minutes to pick the slices off the floor and clean up the oil stains. You could just use your hands to evenly coat the slices.
- Place the slices individually on the baking sheet /tray. Don’t overlap.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Wait for a couple of minutes before munching away!
- Store in an air tight container if it lasts longer than ten minutes.
- Heat the oil
- Drop the chips in
- Fry till they star browning. Then take it out.
- Season with pink salt, chilly powder and cumin powder
- Munchy time! Else air tight container.
- Lotus roots brown almost immediately on slicing. Hence the need for vinegar water. You could try slicing directly over the hot oil, if you are used to it. I am so not.
- Most recipes I saw recommended sesame oil to fry. I did not have it. So I used sesame powder and rice bran oil for frying.
- If you don’t have pink salt, use regular salt.
I liked the baked version better than the fried one. Same crunch less oil. Yay!
I am sending this for #MonsoonMojo hosted by Kalyani