Mkhaan – the global food really needs no introduction.This well-known superfood has become a staple in health nuts’ daily life and has travelled the world. To accommodate the increased demand, it has expanded from its modest origins in the Madhubani district of the Indian state of Bihar. The botanical name for this aquatic crop, Euryale ferox Salisb, sometimes known as lotus seeds, is Euryale ferox Salisb. It is a member of the Nympheaceae family. Often discovered and naturally occurring in stagnant water bodies, such as ponds, specific land depressions, oxbow lakes, swamps, and ditches is this commercially grown and utilised plant. It is a plant that develops and thrives in naturally tropical and subtropical climates.

Euryale ferox Salisb, often known as the mkhaan plant, is a native of South-East Asia and China but is now widely used and exported throughout the world.  In the initial years of commercial production, the plant’s distribution was limited to tropical and sub-tropical regions of South-East and East Asia and other countries including Japan, Korea, Russia, North America, Nepal, Bangladesh to name a few. The Mkhaan seeds are spread throughout India’s several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Eastern Orissa, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Manipur, and Bihar. However, only North Bihar, Manipur, a small portion of West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh are used for commercial cultivation and processing.


Lotus seeds, also known as phool Mkhaan, are crunchy, crispy, high in fibre, and packed with nutrients. It makes sense that it functions as a snack, lunch, and dessert all in one. This cuisine is always packed with the proper nutritious components that the body needs. The nutritional value of Mkhaan is attributed to its high fiber content, low glycemic index and phytochemical constituents. It is low in calories. Its fiber content acts as an absorbent. Because of this property, it is commonly used for treating diarrhoea. 100 grams Mkhaan (fox nuts) contains 350 calories from which 308 calories come from carbohydrates and 39 calories from protein content. It has an insignificant amount of fats and no trans-fat. Moreover, it is high in potassium and provides a little amount of calcium. Nutritional Information on vitamin and mineral content is not yet fully studied. But some research papers suggested that it contains Vitamin B1, carotene, iodine, iron, and phosphorus in addition to potassium and calcium.

The sodium content in Mkhaan is insignificant, but nutritional value changes when it is further processed with spices and salt. You should read the label of the product to check salt content in it Banner Line -Unflavored Mkhaan has almost no cholesterol, low fat and low sodium. It is an ideal snack for people having frequent hunger pangs. Due to its high nutrition value and also healing properties, phool Mkhaan is used in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for managing various diseases including weight loss, insomnia, diarrhoea, kidney ailment, digestion problems, chronic inflammation managing bone and teeth health, and also host of other common ailments.

Use of Mkhaan as a Food Item

Mkhaan was largely eaten as a culinary item for regional and religious purposes a few decades ago. It played a significant role in the Indian households’ main religious rites. Mkhaan was frequently consumed by many individuals during religious fasting as a non-cereal food. In the Indian states phool Mkhaan or lotus seeds are popularly used as a breakfast staple with milk, popped Mkhaan seeds are used for preparing a multitude of delicious, both savoury as well as sweet dishes, including pudding and milk-based sweets. Apart from being consumed as a dessert like Mkhaan kheer, sugar coated Mkhaans etc., it is also used as a thickening agent in various curries for a smooth, creamy and thick gravy.

Apart from these, Mkhaan is used for various medicinal purposes as well, in different parts of Asia in alternative medicine, as can be seen in various ancient literature and documents. The lotus seeds have analgesic and aphrodisiacal properties; hence it is also used in the preparations of a number of Ayurvedic medicines. Mkhaan is widely used for starching fabrics and its bran is also used as an input material for creating poultry feed.

Commercial Cultivation of Mkhaan

Decades ago, Mkhaan or lotus seeds were primarily cultivated and consumed by local population for consumption, but increased awareness of the goodness and also the wide health benefits of the seeds increased the commercial cultivation and production. Mkhaan or lotus seeds are also called as Black Diamond ; this is because it has changed the fortunes of the poor fisherman and farmers and has provided them with a stable source of income and livelihood to thousands of families engaged in the cultivation process, especially in the Indian states of Bihar and Manipur. It is now a cash crop that is marketed in the form of popped Mkhaan also commonly known as Mkhaan Lawa.

Indian States Producing Mkhaan

Traditionally the Indian state of Bihar has been the hub of Mkhaan cultivation and production. The focused and major lotus seeds producing districts include Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar. It is important to note that 80% of the total production of processed Mkhaan seeds comes from 4 districts of Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purnia. Out of these districts, Madhubani and Darbhanga lead the production

Growing Mkhaan demand in International Markets

Mkhaan, or lotus seeds, have nearly become everywhere in various regions of the world over the past five years. Many flavours, such as peri peri, roasted, caramel Mkhaan, chocolate Mkhaan, etc., can be found in practically all local super markets and international retail chains. For health aficionados following various diets, such as vegan diets, vegetarian diets, and gluten-free diets, this nutrient-dense and delectable nut is a must-have. Mkhaan has all the nutrient-dense components that one could possibly need in a single food product.

Some of the nations that have seen a sharp increase in demand are the United States, countries in the European Union like Spain, Netherland, Germany, and France; New Zealand, Australia; and Korea. This has led to the creation of lucrative business opportunities for all parties involved in the Mkhaan production and supply chain. Millions of farmers and fisherman who cultivate “Black Diamond” have also seen changes in their quality of life and means of subsistence.

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