Generally, people perceive healthy snacking as a boring snacking option. Snacks are meant to be fun, flavourful, yet healthy. What about a healthy snack that tastes delicious and has a crunch better than your favourite pack of chips? We are talking about Makhana (fox nut): a super snack packed with nutrients. Makhana’s benefits include improved digestion, healthier skin, a happier heart, and many more!
Makhana, also known as Fox Nuts, Euryale Ferox, Lotus seeds, Phool makhana, or gorgon nuts, is grown majorly in India and some parts of Korea, Japan and Russia. It comes from the lotus seeds. Foxnuts (Makhana) are consumed raw or roasted and seasoned with exotic flavours to make them an ideal healthy snack. In Yogic mythology, Makhana is also traditionally offered to Goddesses during festivals due to their high nutritional benefits.
Production cycle of Makhana
While you are ordering a pack of your favourite pack of roasted Makhana online, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes that lead to your final product of Makhana. We have tried to summarise it in four steps below-
Step 1: Picking or Collection-
Makhana harvest is a laborious method and is performed by extremely skilled labours. The harvesting process starts in the morning at about 10:00 am and continues till about 3:00 pm. The entire process takes around four to five hours to collect seeds from the bottom of the pond or river.
The farmers fix a bamboo pole known as kaara in one place and cover it up and take a dip in the water, diverging into various directions along with the pole. They drag the seeds with the help of their palms and gather them to the base of a bamboo pole. Collected seeds are washed and cleaned. No machines are involved in the entire process as using them can damage the seeds.
Step 2: Cleaning and Storage
The day’s collection is put into a crescent-shaped container called gaanja, which is then shaken and swung repeatedly by touching the water surface until all the seeds get cleaned. Clean seeds are then packed into small bags.
The seeds are again put into a cylindrical container and rolled on the ground so as to make their surface smooth. They bring the seeds to their huts and keep them overnight. The next day, the farmer spread the seeds over mats and let them dry for about two to three hours.
Step 3: Gradation
All processed seeds are sieved for gradation. The process involves different sizes of makhanas passing through different sieving devices known as jharna, rectangular iron plates so that it is easy to roast similar sizes of makhana. The process requires the makhanas to pass through 10 sieves. All graded seeds are stored separately.
Step 4: Getting the White Puff
The seeds at this stage have a black or coffee colour coating and have to undergo shallow frying to bring out the distinct white colour and keep them fresh. It is then closed in air-tight containers and kept at a controlled temperature.
From here, the makhana is ready to hit the processing and packing plants
Now you know, these fluff balls are harvested after hard days’ labour and need our attention.
We at Utsarg work towards ensuring that the farmers get a fair price for their produce- you ask how we do it? we eliminate all the middlemen involved in the supply chain and purchase makhanas directly from the farms to ensure that no commissions are paid to any trader and the farmer earns maximum returns for their produce.
Utsarg is today among the largest exports of Makhana in India and is working relentlessly towards making the superfood popular outside of India so that the snacking habits of millions of people can change for the better.