These are the tastiest chips we’ve ever eaten. Use them to garnish your biryani at a dinner party.
Lotus root (nadur in Kashmiri/bhein in Punjabi/kamal kakri in Hindi) is available quite easily in Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese stores. Look for smooth skin, orange-pink in colour, and an evenly cylindrical shape. The older the lotus root, the more fibrous it gets.
Peel the lotus root. Cut it into thin discs (1/8 inch thick) using a mandoline or sharp knife. Soak it in a mixture of water plus a couple teaspoons lemon juice for a few minutes. Pat it dry.
Preheat the oven to 450 F and put a pot of water to boil.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it and drop the discs in. Switch off the flame after four minutes. Put the discs on a tea towel to drain and place another tea towel on top.
Alternate method: String the chips along two bamboo skewers placed across a microwave safe container.
Microwave them on high for 2 minutes, then bake.
Boiling them cooks them more evenly, but microwaving them makes them less starchy and sticky. Your choice.
As they are drying, put 2 tablespoons oil on an UNLINED baking sheet. A baking sheet should take 25-30 discs.
Add some salt and cayenne (chilli powder) to the oil, mix it together.
Add the lotus root discs to the oil mix and gently coat them. Spread them on the sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes, turning them once midway.
The tastiest ones, we found, are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy inside. So try not to cut them paper thin, or to dry them out completely while baking.
Lotus root is an amazing, under-utilised veggie. Half a cup of boiled lotus root, has 40 calories, no fat, 7% per cent of daily fibre requirements, and 27% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Plus, it is very versatile, and can be used in lieu of the potato in many dishes.
Nutrition details and image from Nutritiondata.com (This is for half a cup of cooked lotus root without salt or oil)
See our recipe for Kashmiri-style Lotus Root in a Yoghurt sauce (Nadur Yakhni) here.