The water chestnut is not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, under water, in the mud. It has stem-like, tubular green leaves that grow to about 1.5 m. The water caltrop, which also is referred to by the same name, is unrelated and often confused with the water chestnut.water chestnut is also called singhara in hindi.
The small, rounded corners have a crisp, white flesh and may be eaten raw, slightly boiled, or grilled, and often are pickled or tinned. They are a popular ingredient in Chinese dishes. In China, they are most often eaten raw, sometimes sweetened. They are unusual among vegetables for remaining crisp even after being cooked or canned, because their cell walls are cross-linked and strengthened by certain phenolic compounds, such as oligomers of ferulic acid. Apart from the edible corms, the leaves can be used for cattle feed, mulch or compost. There are many health benefits of water chestnut:
- Promote Weight Loss by Keeping You
Fuller for Longer With Fewer Calories
Water chestnuts contain low calories which is an ideal food for weight-loss.
- Could Reduce the Risk of Oxidative
Stress and Help Fight Cancer Growth
Water chestnuts contain very high levels of the antioxidant ferulic acid which reduces free radicals and reduces the risk of cancer..
- Lowers cardiac risks
Water chestnut helps to lowers down the level of cholesterol and discourages the absorption of carbohydrate.
- Good for sound sleep
The presence of Vitamin B-6 in water chestnut is good for sleeping as well as alleviating your mood. It produces neurotransmitters that are effective for your mood and sleep.
- Good for measles
Water chestnut is beneficial for measles patients.
- Good for thyroid gland
Due to the presence of iodine,water chestnut is effective in the proper functioning of thyroid gland.
- Hair growth
Water chestnut has sufficient amount of potassium. It is also having vitamins B and E. All these nutrients are good for healthy hair.
- Control loose motions:
Water chestnut has cooling effects and acts like as coolant.
The presence of antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids in water chestnuts acts as antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and anti-fungal.
- Good for fetal growth
During pregnancy, water chestnut is helpful in the growth and development of fetal.
- Good for skin
Water chestnut helps to detoxify the body and gives overall good appearance. The paste of water chestnuts and lemon juice is good to cure eczema.
- Regulates water retention
Water chestnut has the balancing effects in the body due to the presence of enough amount of potassium and lower amount of sodium thus helps in regulation of water retention.
- Cure phlegm
Its juice is good in curing of phlegm.
- Secretion of mother milk
It is good in the secretion of milk by stimulating the mammary gland.
- Sore throat
Eating the vegetable is helpful to cure sore throat.
Water chestnuts can be eaten at any time of day.They are used along with coriander, rice, noodles, ginger, sesame oil and bamboo shoots, etc. and give the taste of crunchy and crispy.
Ways to use water chestnut
- They are highly versatile and can be enjoyed raw, boiled, fried, grilled, pickled or candied.
- Water chestnuts are often peeled and either diced, sliced or grated into dishes such as stir-fries, omelets, chop suey, curries and salads, among others.
- They can also be enjoyed fresh after washing and peeling, as they have a crispy, sweet, apple-like flesh. Interestingly, the flesh continues to stay crisp even after boiling or frying.
- Singhara fruit and its by-products like the juice and flour are used in cookery and medicine as well.
- Steamed, the skin takes on a blackened color and it tastes almost like a potato.
- The flour is also added to milk to make milk creamier and it can be used to make batter for deep-frying.
How to buy and store water chestnut
- While purchasing water chestnut, one should take more quantity of it because many of them are get rotten or decay.
- Uncooked or raw Singhara without unpeeling can be kept for 4 to 5 days.
- It can be put in the refrigerator for two weeks dipping into water. Water should be changed daily to maintain its taste.
- Canned water chestnuts can be kept for one year.
Uses of water chestnut
- A paste made from powdered skins of water chestnuts can be applied on the swollen areas of the skin for relief.
- Water chestnut seed powder mixed with lemon juice helps to cure eczema if applied regularly.
Season in which water chestnut is available
Water chestnut is available through september to november.
How to make water chestnut curry
Water chestnut 250 grams
Potato 2 (optional )
Bay leaf 1 piece
Onion paste 1/2 cup
Ginger- garlic paste 2 tablespoon
Cumin powder ½ tablespoon
Turmeric powder ½ tablespoon
Red chilli powder 1 tablespoon
Gotta garam masala 1 Cardamom,1 clove, ½ inch cinnamon, ½ inch mac and nutmeg.
Garam masala powder 1 tablespoon
Mustard oil 5 tablespoon
Salt 1 tablespoon
Ghee 1 tablespoon
To start, first peel the water chestnut and cut into halves. Then heat mustard oil in a karahi and shallow fry the water chestnut. Keep it aside.
In the remaining oil in the karahi put tej patta and gotta garam masala. Once it starts popping add onion paste and sauté for 10 seconds.
Afterwards add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder and sauté the masala for 1-2 minutes. Add water chestnut and mix.
Then pour the entire thing in a pressure cooker, add salt, ghee ,garam masala powder and about and ½ cup of water and put the lid on. Cook up to 2 whistle.. Once done take it out from fire and serve hot with plain rice or Pharah (steamed Indian dal momo).
How to make Stir Fried Water Chestnuts Recipe
12 Singhade (water chestnut), peeled
4 cloves Garlic
2 teaspoon Paprika powder
1 teaspoon Black pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli flakes
Salt, to taste
Olive Oil, to taste
Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , chopped (to garnish)
To begin making the Stir Fried Water Chestnuts recipe, firstly heat olive oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the water chestnuts. After 1 minute, add garlic, mix and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
After 3 to 4 minutes, add paprika powder, black pepper powder and salt into the pan. Mix well.
Add red chili flakes into the pan and let the water chestnuts cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Once it is done, switch off the gas and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve Stir Fried Water Chestnuts with tea.
- Excess consumption of water chestnut can bloat the stomach and cause stomach pain.
- Don’t eat water chestnut if you’re constipated.
- Vomiting can also occur in rare cases.
Water chestnut fun facts
- Water chestnut is used for making salt in Zimbabwe.
- Stems are used for making sleeping mats in Sumatra, Sulawesi and skirts in Papua New Guinea.
- There are two types of Water Chestnut. The other kind, a sedge, is a common component of Chinese cuisine.
- They are also used as cattle feed or as mulch.