“Consider the lilies….” As Brian once uttered from a pedestal above the seething and impressionable masses.
Well I have been not only considering the lilies – I have been eating them as well.
The water lily is big in Indochina – the flowers used as sacred offerings to Buddha, the stalks used as vegetables, the root used as a starchy vegetable and the seed pods used as a snack.
These Nelumbo nucifera plants are also known as “Lotus” – the sacred plant of the Cambodians, Thais, Indians and Vietnamese.
And below we are focusing on fresh lotus seeds.
Handy to know if you keep hearing this funky Asian name and think it originates from sports cars, software, spa resorts or restaurants. They have a lot of spiritual significance across a number of faiths, even as far back as ancient Egypt, and usually represent the inner self, tranquility, wholeness, wellbeing etc etc which is why it gets used to name exclusive spa resorts and holistic treatment dens in every location from Invercargill to Iceland.
The root looks very cool, peeled then sliced across – it can be used in soups, braises, salads – even dried or roasted and dressed up as a space-age garnish and dusted with powders, postions, syrups or dressings.
once more, I get carried away and change topic.
Today I’m focusing on the seed pods, as they are easy to eat. Just break them open and hoe in!
I have seen these popping up in five star hotels and funky flower shops as uber-cool and exotic additions to outrageously-priced floral bouquets.
I have not, however, seen the recipients of these flower arrangements start breaking open the contents of their gift and start scoffing lily seeds. This is a pity, as they are juicy, delicious and full of taste.
They are best fresh from the pond – eaten within 2 days of collecting.
Any longer, they lose nutrients, texture and taste. (Like most vegetables)
Anyway – too much typing, not enough photos, so here we go…..THIS is what I am talking about: