Water Chestnuts: All You Need To Know About Singhada
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The term singhada is often used in India to refer to water chestnuts – plants that grow in marshes, ponds and slow-moving water bodies. The edible part of the plant is the nut-like seed that grows underwater which is typically harvested during the autumn season. Singhada seeds have a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavour. Commonly used in Indian cuisine, particularly in regional dishes and snacks, the seeds are often used to make flour, which is then used to prepare various dishes such as puris, pakoras fritters and sweets during fasting.

They are a staple in the diet of many communities across the country, and are particularly popular during festivals when certain foods are restricted. In addition to its culinary uses, water chestnuts are also used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits. Singhada are different from the water chestnuts commonly found across Europe and North America. Here are some Indian singhada dishes.

Singhada Puri

Singhada puri – a deep-fried bread made from singhada flour, is a popular choice during fasting days. Singhada flour is kneaded with water, and sometimes mashed potatoes to form a dough, which is then rolled out into small discs and deep-fried until they puff up. These puris are often served with vrat ke chutneys or curries.

Singhada Pakora 

Singhada pakoras are fritters made by coating singhada slices or pieces in a spiced gram flour batter and deep-frying them until they're crispy and golden. They make for a delicious and crunchy snack during fasting periods.

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Singhade Ka Halwa

Singhada halwa is a sweet dessert made from singhada flour prepared by roasting singhada flour in ghee until it turns golden-brown. It is then simmering it with sugar and water or milk until it thickens, resulting in a rich and sweet halwa that is often garnished with dry fruits.

Singhada Chilla 

Singhada chilla is a savoury pancake made with singhada flour and spices. A batter is prepared by mixing singhada flour with water and adding ingredients like chopped green chilies, ginger and cumin seeds. These pancakes are cooked on a griddle until they are firm and slightly crispy, which can be enjoyed with fasting-friendly chutneys or yogurt.