Singhara and Memories of a Winter

It is that time of the year again. Winters are on their way, and all things wintery have started to appear in the streets and markets. So we have peanuts and peas, jaggery and cane-sugar, cauliflower and cabbages. And then there is ‘Singhara’ or what some of us call water chestnut.

I can never forget those misty winter mornings of small town North India, when my gandfather would carry bags full of singharas home and granny would peel them for us. Peeling was the hardest part, popping them into our mouths while playing was easy. Then there were those nippy evenings when father would carry boiled Singhara on their way back home from work. The steaming starchy fruit would then be devoured with garlic chutney and gur. The taste is still fresh in my mind..

Boiled singhara is hard to find here in Delhi, and you cannot boil the regular singharas at home. But there is another way you can enjoy the singhara hot and fresh: Just stir fry it with a pinch of jeera and a pinch or rock salt, in half teaspoon of ghee. 

Recipe:

Fresh Singhara (peeled and washed) — 1 cup

Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter)                 — 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera (cumin seeds)                               —  a pinch

Rock Salt (or regular salt)                    — a pinch

Method:

Heat the ghee in a pan. When it starts to smoke, add the cumin seeds, add peeled singhara as soon as the cumin turns slightly brown. Stir.

Add a pinch or two of salt. Stir.

Cover the pan and reduce the flame.

Turn off the flame in 5 mins. Stir and remove.

Serve hot with lehsun chutney or fresh jaggery.

Glossary:

Singhara: Water Chestnut

Jeera: Cumin Seeds

Ghee: Clarified Butter (you could use refined oil too)

Lehsun Namak: a thick paste of green chillis, coriander leaves, salt, and garlic. 

Do try and tell me if you liked it!

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