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Nadru/Lotus Stems

With my (admittedly) limited yet steadily growing exposure to other Indian cuisines, I have not come across another part of India outside Jammu and Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh that eats a lot of dishes made from lotus stems. It is possibly down to availability or some reason like that. But for me, it is an ingredient I routinely turn to when I am short of ideas, and more often than not, I have a packet or two of lotus stems in my freezer.

A dry Nadru recipe is one of the quickest and low effort dishes I have in my repertoire. Having a dry dish like this works well for me as someone who isn't a big rice eater either. That is not to say this doesn't pair well with rice, it absolutely does, and I would strongly encourage you to try it out yourself. Did I also tell you this dish is vegan?

Before I walk you through the ingredients and steps, here are some relevant metrics for the recipe.

  • Difficulty - Easy.

  • Prep time - 15 mins.

  • Cooking time - 25 mins.

  • Servings - 3.


  1. Mustard oil - 2 tbsp

  2. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

  3. Onions - 2, either cut into juliennes or sliced.

  4. Ginger - 0.5" knob finely diced.

  5. Garlic - 2 cloves finely diced.

  6. Nadru - 250g. If you are going for a frozen pack, remember to thaw them.

  7. Salt - 1.5 tsp or adjust to taste

  8. Turmeric powder - 0.25 tsp

  9. Garam Masala - 0.5 tsp

  10. Coriander Powder - 0.5 tsp

  11. Red chilli powder - 0.75 tsp

  12. Green chillies - 2, finely sliced. These are entirely optional.

  13. Tomatoes - 2, finely diced.

The Process

  1. If you are using frozen Nadru, remember to thaw them properly. If you are using fresh Nadru, wash them nicely, chop off the ends and peel them. Finally, slice them into equal parts around half a cm thick.

  2. Heat the mustard oil on high heat. Avid readers of the blog will be familiar with the drill by now. But for everyone else, start on high heat to remove the pungency of mustard oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, set the heat to medium.

  3. Add cumin seeds to the oil.

  4. Next comes the onion. Remember to saute them well.

  5. Once the onions begin to brown, add in the ginger and garlic. Allow them to release their aroma.

  6. Now add the Nadru in. Mix the ingredients well. If you are adding green chillies, add them in as well.

  7. Next, add all the spices - turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and Garam Masala. Mix everything.

  8. Now add in the tomatoes. Remember to mix things nicely.

  9. After around 10 mins or when the Nadru start to feel a bit soft, and the dish's texture is to your liking, turn off the heat. They are supposed to be ever so slightly crunchy, so don't expect them to be very soft.

That is it; your Nadru is ready - Bon appetit. As always, I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. See you in the next one.

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