Eating popped water lily seeds may seem adventurous, but in India it’s been consumed for centuries and is as commonplace as popcorn or potato chips. The ancient super seed, when puffed, is a canvas for flavorings and a nutritious, low-fat snack, and rising in popularity here. The Atlanta company Route To India produces Yoga Pops, popped water lily seeds hand-roasted and well-seasoned in small batches. They come in three varieties: one spiced with truffle oil and dried porcini mushroom powder; another dusted with curry powder and spicy; and a third, sweet from caramel jaggery (evaporated cane juice) and laced with cardamom, cinnamon, and clove ($5.99 for a 1-ounce bag). Owners Anita Balakrishnan and Nalini Mehta, both born in India, say the flavorings stand true to Ayurveda, the ancient system of health and wellness they practice. “In India, the popped seeds are known as an energy booster,” says Mehta, who’s worked for years as a caterer, taught Ayurvedic cooking classes and gives lectures on the subject. She also won a James Beard Foundation Women In Culinary Leadership Grant. Mehta came up with the flavorings when she was hosting pop-up dinners and served the popped seeds as a cocktail snack. As we stay at home, we may be munching on fatty treats. The popped water lily seeds, with 120 to 160 calories per bag, are a better-for-you, crunchy snack. To order, go to www.routetoindia.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.