Sunday, June 22, 2014


                                              ( A water chestnut kernels seller in kashmir )


Photographs  Autar Mota

The water chestnut is an aquatic plant that bears a rough and thick skin. It may not be a good looking fruit but this water fruit has a single, large, white colored edible seed, inside. The plant grows in ponds, marshes and seasonal and perennial lakes. The seed is triangular in shape, white and thick and has a mild sweet taste and flavor. The seed coat of the raw singhara is a little difficult to remove with the fingers. It can be either be removed by slicing it into two pieces or by boiling the fruit which makes the seed coat soft enough to remove it by hand.
Water Chest nuts or Singhara ( Ghour in kashmiri ) extracted from lakes and reservoirs of kashmir has three main varieties namely BASMATI , DOGRU and KANGAR . Basmati is the chief variety with thin skin and more kernel. The Dogru is a larger variety with thick shell and small kernel while the Kangar has thick shell with long projecting horns with a very small size of the kernel. The water chest nut kernels (known in kashmiri as Messa or Gojji ) are sold everywhere in kashmir . Every kashmiri likes them . These are fried with rice powder and sold by local halwaiis in kashmir .
 We would buy this stuff , wash it clean , Mix them with rice powder , add a pinch of salt and dry red kashmiri chilly powder also some little kala zeera.  We would then add  small quantity of  water to make it appear like  paste.  Fry a And then we would fry them  eat them  like  crunchy and crispy Pakorras .  We never added  red edible color. The kashmiri  red chilly powder did good coloring .

Kashmiri Pandits use powder of dried kernels of water chestnuts (known as Ghaarie Aut in kashmiri ) for making Purrees and Halwa or other items to be consumed during religious fasts and festivals.

These singharas or water Chestnuts  are rich in minerals very very poor in Carbohydrates and protiens. The minerals present are all useful to our body . The main minerals  that are present in water chestnuts are  Calcium,Iron,Magnesium,Phosphorus,Potassium,Sodium and Zinc.
       ( A woman selling Water chestnuts  extracted from wular Lake  in Bandipore , kashmir )

There are many benefits of Water chestnuts . It has some useful minerals like iodine and manganese that help in maintaining proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Water chest nuts are rich in polyphenolic and flavonoid antioxidant and thus possess anti-bacterial, antiviral, anticancer and antioxidant properties. The juice of water chestnut is used to control diarrhea and dysentery in various Non allopathic systems of medicines. Water chestnuts are excellent sources of potassium , a mineral that is vital for proper muscle and neural functioning. Potassium also regulates water retention and blood pressure by balancing sodium.
So have enough of them ..
( Autar Mota 22.06.2014 )

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1 comment:

  1. great info.....our Kashmir is full of resources....just need marketing , promotion like these sites....


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