Today is Ekadasi, a bi-monthly fast day observed by Hindus and Jains throughout the world. There are different degrees of observance, the most basic being fasting from grains and beans. A simple Ekadasi snack that I prepare for my kids every Ekadasi is toasted lotus puffies, or phool makhana.
Reminiscent of popcorn or styrofoam packing, lotus puffies–as we affectionately call them–appeal to my kids for their salty crunch factor. To make, I simply heat a cast iron skillet, add a little olive oil or ghee, and pour in the puffies. Stirring as I toast them, I shake in a good amount of salt which never really seems to adhere very well to the puffies. After just a few minutes they crisp up and are ready to serve.
Phool makhana is available for purchase at Indian stores.