Ready to Constitute Makhana Kheer
Makhana is a popped kernel of seeds of gorgon nut (Euryale ferox Salisb). It is an aquatic crop in India and is available as wiled in various Asian countries. It is considered to be a cash crop and its popped kernel is marketed throughout world as dry fruit. Bihar is the major producer of makhana, contributing more than 80 % of total production in India. Other states such as East Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan, J & K, Tripura and Manipur also produce makhana in small quantities.
Makhana, being rich in carbohydrate, protein, minerals etc. is used for various purposes. It has also been reported that makhana has medicinal value and is used as an important ingredient in preparation of indigenous tonics. Ayurveda and Unani texts have accepted its aphrodisiac and spermatogenic properties. Both raw and fried makhana are fairly rich in essential amino acids and nutritionally comparable to those of fish with respect to essential amino acid index and chemical score.
Makhana kheer is one of the delicious item being eaten in select areas of country. Popped makhana is bulky in nature and thus become costly at distant places due to high transportation cost. To overcome this product and having high acceptability a new product “ready to constitute makhana kheer mix” has been developed.
Ready to Constitute makhana kheer mix mainly constituted by makhana and milk powder, sugar and a commonly available binder. Optional ingredients are cardamom powder, raisin and cashew nut. The proximate compositions of freshly prepared mix is as below:
Proximate Composition of Ready to Constitute Makhana Kheer Mix
|Constituents||Per 100 g|
|Minerals (g) (phosphorous, iron, calcium etc)||2.2|
|Saturated fatty acid (g)||4.36|
|Poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA, g)||0.16|
|Mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA, g)||1.7|
|Trans fatty acid (g)||0.24|
The developed ready to constitute makhana kheer mix is a new product using ground makhana and sugar as main ingredients The mix is a homogeneous mass of ingredients, which cannot be separated easily as in case of a simple admixture of different ingredients. The grinding of makhana in developed process is done at normal room conditions without heating the makhana, whereas it is done after roasting the makhana in iron pan on fire in the conventional process. The developed process thus eliminates an operation and minimizes the energy consumption. Use of this mix for preparation of makhana kheer eliminates the cooking processes followed in the conventional household method. The developed ready to constitute makhana kheer mix has longer shelf life and can be transported at much lower cost as compared to that of raw popped makhana to any where for marketing for better remuneration. It saves time and energy in preparation of makhana kheer. Simple potable normal or hot/warm water is added in the mix and stir for a while and makhana kheer is ready to eat.
Makhana due to its health benefits and unique nutritional characteristics is getting popular among the masses. Its market is in flight, trains catering services, ready to eat stalls throughout the country. Latter on may also be exported.
Popped makhana is cleaned manually by removing adhering foreign matter, immature and un-popped nuts, if any. Grinding is performed using a commercial hammer mill fitted with a single-phase motor (3 hp, 3900 rpm) or a domestic grinder. The ground material is sieved through the sieve shaker. The optimum range of particle size of makhana is combined and used for the manufacture of kheer mix. The dry milk powder, powdered sugar and makhana powder is mixed in a particular (optimized) proportion and thoroughly blended in a blender or by hand using a specified binder. It shelf life is 4-9 months depending upon the packaging type and environment in which it is stored. The product is of export quality.