Lotus Root Fritters – Nadir Monji Kashmiri

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Nadur Monji – Lotus root fritters with a lip smacking Tamarind and onion chutney. For the chutney recipe, I owe deep thanks to my foodie friend Dillon Kesur – who is a very talented cook and a knowledgeable, creative foodie.

Nadur monji is a cherished treat in all of Kashmir. It is a coveted snack. It is a required addiction – by law. Ok may be not by law. It is a requirement by virtue of being a true blooded kashmiri. Any Kashmiri worth her salt should be obsessed with nadur. Full Stop. (period as we call it in Amreeka)

Thin slices of Lotus roots are mixed with spices and rice flour and then deep fried until crisp. If that was not enough to get you hooked, they are served with a tangy Tamarind onion chutney. Mouth puckering, lip-smacking, finger-licking good chutney.

I only had memories of eating this chutney. I never learned how to make it. I wish I could weave stories of my mom or aunts or grandmas making nadur monji and chetin (chutney) – but I can’t. These were the quintessential “halwai” items. No one made these at home.

So when Dillon posted a picture of a chutney with onions that looked so much like the chutney I had in my memory, I asked for the recipe. Generous as always, he promptly posted it.

Ruchira posted a blog about her nadur monji a few days ago and my mind took a flight to the streets of Srinagar, Kashmir and my home in Rainwari.  The mere mention of the dish flooded me with memories of my childhood, my Grandparents, my school,  my friends and it reminded me of myNaani ( Grandma- Mom’s Mom)

There is a memory related to this dish that is etched in my soul. I was studying for exams and feeling tired, so I asked my Naani for something yummy to eat and she offered to buy me some Nadur monji. She had to walk about half a mile in blazing sun to the shop and buy them for me. And she did – happily so . While on her way back, she was attacked by a cow who had run off from her shed and was charging at every one who tried to pass the small street. My Naani was hurt and bruised and the nadur monji were all scattered on the street.

Did she come back home in a deep state of shock ? NO!! She got up and went back to the shop and bought some more. And mentioned it over tea and nadur monji.  I got real mad at her but she just laughed it off.  To this day, It is our story to laugh at, hers and mine. And it is my story to keep with me to remember how much and how well I was Loved and still am. It is one of the stories from her life that I fall back upon when times go tough on me. I remember how she brushes off the pain and misery and moves on. She is the brave, kind person I want to be.

I set to work. And told this story of my youth to my daughter, who enjoys listening to every single byte of my history with tiny bites of food from our kitchen.

Here are two ways I made them. I know I went overboard. BUT I had not eaten these in years.

Ingredients : for the nadur monji (the long ones)

  • 1 c lotus roots  peeled and cut into thin  long strips
  • 3-4 Tbs rice flour
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 -2 Tbs of water (if needed)
  1. Mix the rice flour , salt, cayenne and cumin into the lotus root strips. Each strip should be coated well. If the lotus roots you have are more watery, you may need more rice flour. And if they are dry, you need to use the water. The idea is to just wet coat the strips.
  2. Deep fry in oil on medium heat until nicely browned and crunchy
Ingredients for Nadur Kebab ( the round one)
  • 1 C Lotus root pieces
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp semolina
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2- 3 green chillies
  • 2 tbs Cilantro
  • 1/4 C boiled and mashed up potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin
  1. Put all the ingredients except the semolina in a food pro and pulse it until it achieves a grainy texture
  2. Add in the semolina and make small round cakes
  3. Option to deep fry or pan fry these.
  4. You can use an Æbleskiver pan to cook them for a more uniform crunch if you choose to pan fry. (Thanks Ash for your questions )
Note: you may need to add more bread, if the lotus roots are really watery.
Tamarind Chutney
Recipe adapted from Dillon’s Tamarind chutney
  • 1/4 C seedless tamarind
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 C sliced onions
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • salt to taste
  1. In a non reactive pan, boil  a cup of water and add 1/4 C of seedless tamarind into it. Add ginger powder, cayenne and salt and allow it to come to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  2. Add in the onions. Remove from heat and allow to cool before using.



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Comments 12

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  1. Ok, so if you ever need a taste tester I am just down the road in Denver and can make it to Boulder in 30 minutes!!! Anshie, these look and sound so delicious that it is taking me forever to type this comment as I have to keep stopping to wipe the keyboard of drool!

    1. Post

      Jill, I am not that far off from Denver now… I have moved to Broomfield .. so it won’t be 30 minutes.. Come on over!

  2. i have had lotus roots before.

    the first pic is so good. lovely red color. if i get lotus roots in the market i am going to try this one.

  3. A deep fried snack and a great story – that’s what memorable evenings are made of! Shloka is lucky to have so many of those, thanks to her mom.

    I went ‘:O’ reading the story, I don’t know what I would have done…ur nani is indeed brave and she must Love you so much to go back and get those for you!

  4. What a lovely story behind these gorgeous lotus roots fritters. I miss my grand parents 🙁 They were the real best in my life. I could see how much affection your granny has for you and kudos to her braveness Ansh.

  5. Awww! Anshie what a sweet story. I’ve never made nadru as chips, but will soon (I’ve got some in my fridge as I speak). And thank you for linking 🙂

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