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two bowls of roasted makhana on a pink background

Makhana 3 Ways – Fox Nuts/Lotus Seed Snack (vegan, gluten-free)

  • Author: Remy
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 3-5 servings 1x


Learn to make roasted makhana or popped water lily seed snacks, in three delicious ways! Salted Caramel, Salt & Vinegar, and Cheezy Garlic– All gluten-free and vegan!



The Basics

  • 23 cups makhana
  • neutral oil
  • salt

Salted Caramel

Salt & Vinegar

  • salt, to taste
  • vinegar powder, to taste

Cheezy Garlic

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt, to taste


Salted Caramel

  1. For this recipe, we’re roasting the makhana prior to flavouring, to achieve a little crunch before coating. Cook in a pan with just a touch of neutral oil for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until crisp. You can test them by taking a bite–it should have a nice crunch throughout. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Next, in the same pan, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, water and melt down, gently stirring until completely smooth.
  3. Bring the mixture to a bubble, then add baking soda and stir quickly until colour slightly changes then immediately remove from heat and add makhana to the pan.
  4. Toss to coat and then spread as evenly as possible on a baking sheet to cool completely.

Salt & Vinegar

  1. In a pan over medium high heat, roast makhana with neutral oil for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and vinegar powder, to taste, and enjoy.

Cheezy Garlic

  1. Toss makhana in a mixing bowl with neutral oil, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder and smoked paprika.
  2. Transter to a pan over medium high heat and roast makhana with neutral oil for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.


More Seasoning Variations

Roasted makhana is an amazing blank canvas to work with. You can get creative with the seasonings and I highly encourage experimenting as there are countless ways to flavor your Indian water lily seeds, both sweet and savoury. Here are some other options to try:

  • Indian spices

  • Plain sea salt (this one’s self-explanatory)

  • Furikake

  • BBQ 

  • Chili lime

Storage Tips

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within one week for the best freshness and flavor. 

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins

Keywords: roasted makhana recipe, water lily seeds, healthy, gluten free, oil free, paleo, vegan, plant based, oil free