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4.92 from 12 votes

Creamy Phool Makhana Curry (Lotus Seed Curry)

This Phool Makhana Curry, or lotus seed curry, is made of puffy, crispy lotus seeds and green peas in a creamy sauce of cashew nuts, tomatoes, and spices. A vegan, gluten-free, soy-free recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Phool Makhana Curry
Servings: 6
Calories: 106kcal


  • 2 cups phool makhana or lotus seeds (they keep in the pantry forever)
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ to 1 tsp cayenne (use less for less heat, more for more)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ¼ cup kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • cup cashews
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)

Serving suggestions


  • Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet and add the lotus seeds. Stir-fry them, stirring constantly, until they turn golden-brown and crisp. You don't want them to blacken.
  • Put the lotus seeds in a bowl and set aside.
  • Make a paste with the cashews and 1 cup of water and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a skillet (if you used a cast-iron one to roast the lotus seeds, replace it with a nonstick or stainless steel one for the rest of the recipe. You're using tomato in the recipe and acidic ingredients don't react happily to cast iron).
  • Add the onion and saute over medium heat until it turns transparent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the powdered spices and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato puree and mix thoroughly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes darken and the oil begins to express itself.
  • Add the lotus seeds, the frozen green peas, and the kasoori methi. Give it all a good stir and add a cup of water.
  • Once the curry comes to a boil, add the cashew paste and salt to taste. If the curry is too thick, add some water. I like my curry rather thick-- perfect to scoop up with an oven-fresh naan.
  • Spritz in a few drops of lemon juice for some added complexity. Garnish with chopped coriander.


Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 486IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg