I am a Northern Indian and having spent many winters up there, I love everything that the winters have to offer in terms of the local fresh produce! I particularly enjoy roasted or sautéed Singhara (water chestnut or water caltrop). The flavour is very earthy and not many spices are needed to enhance it further 🙂 They are commonly seen in green or brown colour…I’ve heard about the pink ones but haven’t come across any yet. Although, the green ones do have a light pinkish hue around the skin. I wish I had a few fresh ones at hand to show it’s beauty!
So, as I was saying…it’s available up North…usually you will find local vendors selling these on small stalls. These Singharas or water chestnuts are usually roasted on coal embers and are sold hot. The earthiness (‘sondhapan’ in Hindi) is something that grows on you and you will want to enjoy them even more! Usually paired with the evening tea, they make for a toothsome snacking option.
Since it’s a fruit, it can be enjoyed during the Vrat (fasting) season in Navratri or Mahashivratri. It can be enjoyed raw,boiled or sautéed or even roasted as I mentioned above wth some Vrat ka namak.
The Singhara is dried and powdered to make Glutenfree flour which too can be used for recipes during Vrat (fasting). It’s full nutritional properties and almost no fats!
So, today I am going to be sharing my favorite Vrat (fasting) dish, Vrat ke Pakode! Anyone who knows me well, know that’s I am not too fond of sweets…(Yes!! My blog archives tell a different story…but that’s courtesy my hubby😘😂). This is my Mom’s recipe…and I freak out over them. So much so, I refuse to share any when these are on the menu. Luckily enough, my hubby has become fond of them so he wants a share even though he isn’t fasting….so obviously I make a large batch!!
Let’s see how…
Yield: serves 1
Equipment: a large wok, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, a slotted spoon, kitchen paper.
2 nos. large potatoes
1/4 cup Singhara ka atta (water chestnut flour or any other Glutenfree flour like buckwheat or finger millet but I always use water chestnut flour)
vrat ka namak (or regular salt) to taste
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp degi mirch (optional, use it for the colour)
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and some extra to garnish
water as needed
oil to fry
Peel the potatoes, wash and pat dry them.
Then cut the potatoes into small cubes. Set them aside.
In a mixing bowl, add the cubed potatoes, degi mirch, black pepper pwd, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and grated ginger.
Mix these well. Add the Singhara flour/ atta. Mix well again. Do not add salt right now. (If you do, the mixture will leave a lot of water and the fritters/ pakode won’t be crisp).
Heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot enough, reduce the flame to medium.
Now season the mixture with salt and add a little water to it and mix well. Do not let the this mixture rest, drop spoonfuls of it into hot oil and fry them evenly until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove from the oil and place them on absorbent kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.
That’s it, serve them piping hot with tea and some Phalhari chutney.
Also try my Roasted Phool Makhane (spiced foxnuts), click here for recipe...makes for a great fat free snacking option as you fast!