Lotus seeds or nuts are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn. They can also be boiled down until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to made a tong sui (sweet soup). Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste becomes one of the most common ingredient used in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku, and rice flour pudding.
Various parts of the sacred lotus are also used in traditional Asian herbal medicine. Lotus seeds called Phool Mukhana is also used in Indian cooking.
When cooked in clear soups, lotus seeds are believed in Chinese medicine to “clear heat” and be particularly nutritious and restorative to one’s health, which may explain the prevalence of their use in Chinese cuisine.
COMMON & MISTAKEN NAMES:
Nymphaea nouchali var caerulea: Pink Lotus; Pink Water Lily; Egyptian Lotus; Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile