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The lotus seed, also called makhana in India, is a staple in Asian cuisine. Since the harvesting season of the lotus flower is short, the lotus seed is most commonly found dried or puffed. The bitter germ is typically removed from the center of the seed before drying. Both dried and puffed lotus seeds provide an earthy, slightly floral flavor and have a firm, hearty bite when cooked. Lotus seeds are sold in Asian markets, specialty grocers and at many online retailers. Puffed lotus seeds are also sold as flavoured snacks.