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two bowls of roasted makhana on a pink background
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5 from 1 vote

Healthy Roasted Makhana Recipe (Water Lily Seeds)

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!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Keyword: gluten free, healthy, oil free, paleo, plant based, roasted makhana recipe, vegan, water lily seeds
Servings: 3 -5 servings
Author: Remy


  • The Basics
  • 2-3 cups makhana
  • neutral oil
  • salt
  • Salted Caramel
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp flaky salt more to taste
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Next, in the same pan, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, water and melt down, gently stirring until completely smooth.
  • 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.
  • Toss to coat and then spread as evenly as possible on a baking sheet to cool completely.
  • Salt & Vinegar
  • 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
  • Toss makhana in a mixing bowl with neutral oil, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder and smoked paprika.
  • 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)
  • Dark chocolate (you could toss in maple syrup or sweetener of choice  and coat with cacao powder)
  • 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.