Makhanas or fox nuts are a popular snack in India. They’re mostly consumed in a roasted or fried savoury form and are a healthy yet delicious substitute for popcorn. Though a lot of us have tried these nutritious snacks, the versatility of this ingredient is severely underrated. Here are some lesser-known makhana recipes that you must try at home.

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1. Makhana Bhel

Makhana Bhel on a blue platter

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This chatpati makhana bhel recipe is uber nutritious and will keep you satiated for a long time.


4 cups makhane

1/4 cup roasted kaale channe

1/4 cup roasted cashews

1/5 cup plain sev (optional)

1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup diced boiled potatoes

1/3 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup diced onion

1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 tsp finely chopped green chillies

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

2 tsp chaat masala

2 tbsp green chutney

1-2 tbsp sweet tamarind lal chutney

Salt to taste


Dry roast the makhanas over a medium flame until crunchy and let them cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped potatoes, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and pomegranate seeds, and mix them well. Next, add the roasted cashews, kaale channe, and pumpkin seeds, and mix. Top the mixture with the chillies, coriander, mint leaves, lemon juice, salt, red chilli powder, chaat masala and both the chutneys. Mix well. Lastly, stir in the roasted makhanas. Garnish with some sev and serve fresh!

2. Matar-Makhana Curry

Makhana Recipes: Matar-Makhana curry served in a small kadhai

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Looking for a change from your plain old dal-chawal-roti-sabzi meals, try this lip-smacking restaurant-style matar-makhana curry.


2 cups makhane

1/2 cup green peas

1 cup pureed tomatoes

1 and 3/4 cups chopped onion

5 cloves garlic

1-inch piece of peeled ginger

5 cashew nuts

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp dhaniya powder

1/2 tsp haldi powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds

2 tbsp cooking oil of choice

Salt to taste

1 tsp chopped coriander leaves


Dry roast the makhanas on a medium flame until crispy and then let them cool. Now, blend the ginger, garlic, cashews, and one cup of onions together to make a paste, and set it aside. Heat some oil in a kadhai and add the jeera to it. Next, add the remaining onions to the kadhai and saute until they’re translucent. Now, transfer the previously prepared onion paste and cook it for 2 mins on a low flame. Add the pureed tomatoes, red chilli powder, dhaniya powder, haldi, and garam masala, and mix well. Cover and cook this mixture until the oil starts to separate. Put in the fresh peas, salt, and about half a cup of water. Stir them in well and let the gravy simmer for around 3-4 minutes. Add the roasted makhanas and let them simmer for about a minute before turning the heat off. Garnish the curry with some chopped coriander leaves and serve with a side of either roti or rice.

3. Caramelised Gur Makhane

An image of caramelised gur makhane stored in a glass jar

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If you’re a fan of caramelised popcorn like me, this makhana recipe is the way to go. Not only is it the perfect sweet treat, but the absence of refined sugar also makes it super healthy.


2 1/2 cups makhane

3/4 cup grated jaggery

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes

1 tbsp til or sesame seeds

2 tsp ghee


Start by dry roasting the sesame seeds and set them aside in a bowl. Now, roast the makhanas in the ghee and keep them aside as well. In a heated pan, add the grated jaggery and around 1 tbsp of water. Reduce the flame to its lowest setting and stir constantly as the jaggery melts. Once this mixture starts to bubble, add the roasted makhane and mix well. Next, add the coconut flakes and til, and mix until each makhana is coated well. Once the extra moisture has evaporated, transfer the prepared makhanas to a fresh, dry plate and let them cool at room temperature. Separate the scrumptious makhanas with your fingers before storing them in an airtight glass container.

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4. Makhane Ki Kheer

Makhana kheer in a black bowl with some makhanas in a spoon

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Makhana kheer is a lesser-known yet scrumptious desi dessert. And we’ve got our hands on a simple recipe for you to whip it up at home.


1 cup makhane

2 cups milk

1 tsp cardamom powder

10-12 sliced almonds

1 tbsp raisins

3 1/2 tbsp sugar or powdered jaggery

1 pinch saffron

2-3 tsp ghee


In a pan, heat the ghee and roast the makhanas and almonds in it until the makhanas become crunchy. Now, take about 1 and 1/2 cups of the roasted makhane and add them to a blender jar. Add the cardamom and saffron to the jar and blend together until they make a fine powder. In a separate deep-bottom pan or kadhai, add the milk and let it come to a boil. Add the sugar or jaggery to the boiling milk, followed by the blended makhana powder. Stir them in well. Put in the remaining roasted makhanas, and simmer on a medium flame until they soften and the milk thickens. Lastly, add the raisins and any other dry fruits you want. Stir and simmer for a minute before turning off the heat. Serve hot, warm or chilled, whatever you like best!

These simple makhana recipes are ideal for your next food experiment.

Makhanas are gluten-free, have a low glycaemic index and are high in potassium, protein, and calcium content. This makes them a safe food option for those with blood pressure issues, hypertension, diabetes, and celiac disease as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Don your chef hats and get right to it!

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