Nadru Yakhni (Lotus root in yoghurt sauce)
Nadru Yakhni or Lotus roots in Yoghurt sauce is a very typical dish from the beautiful land of Kashmir. Kashmir is not only beautiful with blessed nature but it also has a unique cuisine which is so beautiful with the different flavors. Kashmir has two main types of inhabitants – Kashmiri Pandits (Hindu) and Kashmiri Muslim (Islam). Both of these groups have contributed so greatly into the cuisine.
What is Nadru and Yakhni
Nadru Yakhni is a dish made mainly by Kashmiri Pandits. Nadru = Lotus Root, and Yakhni = Yoghurt gravy. There are various types of yakhni gravy made in Kashmir. I found some frozen lotus roots in the asian store and decided to make this gravy for lunch.
It is a relatively easy dish barring the numerous amount of ingredients needed to make this dish. Most Kashmiri Pandit dishes are without onion and garlic but heavily use ginger, mustard oil and fennel for the astringency. This dish is no exception. I had mine with some steamed basmati rice and enjoyed eating with with my hands.
Let me know below if you give this recipe a try.
Peel the lotus stems if using fresh and slice them into 1/2 inch thickness. Wash them well and using a pressure cooker, cook them for 10 mins. Add a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of fennel powder. Once cooked, let it rest.
Meanwhile whisk the yoghurt so that it doesn't curdle further when added to the pan. Use room temperature yoghurt for better results. In a pestle mortar, add the cinnamon stick, black peppercorn, cumin seeds, cardamom, coriander seeds and clove. Pound them to a coarse consistency.
In a heavy saucepan, add the mustard oil. Add bay leaf and asafoetida (hing) followed by the pounded mixture. Cook it on a low to medium flame. Now followed by fennel powder. Add the yoghurt on a low temperature and cook it for 5-7 mins. Add the boiled lotus roots and give everything a good mix. On a medium flame, cook this with a lid on top of the pan for 15-20 mins. You will soon see oil appearing on the sides of the pan. This comes from the fat of the yoghurt.
Check for the seasoning and add salt accordingly. Also add the crushed dried mint leaves and eat this warm with steamed basmati rice.