So what exactly does the word “Bohana” mean and where does it come from?
Let us break it down for you.
Bohana is a play on the word botanical and makhana. Botanical pays tribute to the natural origin of the snack itself, coming from the beautiful Euryale ferox species of the prickly water lily plant, and makhana or phool makhana is the Hindi word for water lily seeds.
Makhana has been eaten in India for centuries. The seed is unique because it can be eaten in many different ways. Makhana can be an ingredient in savory curry dishes, such as Khoya Matar Makhana and even sweet desserts like ‘Makhane ki kheer’. Typically, makhana is eaten as a snack. When makhana is roasted over high heat, they pop right out of their shell and you are left with a fluffy, white puff. The popped makhana can then be roasted in a pan with ghee and a sprinkle of salt to achieve a robust crunch! Other spices, such as turmeric, red chili powder and chaat masala can also be used to season the snack. Makhana in this form is commonly eaten during periods of fasting in India. During the Hindu festival Navrati, which occurs twice a year, people worship Goddess Durga for nine days and most observe fasts during this celebration. Because makhana is a light food that is easily digested, it makes for a great vrat, or fasting food option.
Makhana is also the most prescribed seeds in Ayurveda, making them the ultimate Ayurvedic superfood. Ayurveda is a holistic mind body life-science that believes that every individual is unique and no one lifestyle works for everyone. In Ayurveda, doshas represent dynamic and unique energies found within our body. In order to achieve balance, we must know how to care for our dosha. Ayurveda recognizes three doshas, each associated with specific physiological functions. Whether you’re a vata, pitta or kapha, makhana is a beneficial food that will help you look and feel your best!
Nutritionally speaking, makhana is a nutrient powerhouse compared to all those other snack options out there. Makhana is rich in antioxidants, amino acids and contains kaempferol, a flavonoid that has both anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only is makhana grain free, corn free, and gluten free, but it has 50% more protein than popcorn and is low in calories and fat. It’s simply just one whole popped seed, making makhana the ideal snack!