A few of the friends of Spiceroots recently asked me to share some traditional recipes from Kashmir. Today I chose to share the Nadir Yakhin – Lotus Roots in yogurt sauce, as it brings a lot of happy memories from my childhood. My cousin and I used to steal pieces of lotus roots from each other’s plates – just so the other did not get to eat one too many. We would sit next to each other and keep a sharp eye out for a moment when the other was not looking and grab it from the plate. Of course we could always help ourselves to some more from the kitchen, but where was the fun in that. Kids feeding vegetables to the family dog under the table? Not we two! Especially not when my Grand mother made this dish.
The best part is that even though we have grown up, we still don’t trust each other with this dish around. If we didn’t have to be a good example for kids around us, we might still end up fighting over it. Sometimes, being an adult is hard.
This is a quintessential Kashmiri dish and is the star of a vegetarian festive meal. In my opinion, the best tasting nadur (lotus roots) are from Kashmir and if you have ever eaten those, nothing else comes a close second. The slender, long roots are mild with a great texture. It doesn’t really have a flavor of its own, but takes on the flavors of the spices and yet maintains its individuality. And did I tell you that there is a specific technique involved in eating them?
Well, they are made up of thin stringy hair like fibers. So if you cut and eat them along their length, you won’t see the fibers. But if you cut them diagonally, the hair like strings kind of flow out, which might put you off.