Friday, 9 July 2010

Singhare Ka Atta or Water Chestnut Flour

  • Singhare ka atta is prepared from Singhara or Water Chestnut.
  • Singhara are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep, native to warm temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa.
  • Singhara plants bear ornately shaped fruits that resemble the head of a bull, each containing a single very large starchy seed.
  • Singhara has been cultivated in China and India for at least 3,000 years for these seeds, which are boiled and sold as an occasional street side snack in the south of that country.
  • Singhara flour or Water Chestnut Flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The nuts are also eaten raw.
  • The Singhara flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour.
  • Singhara flour is primarily use as a thickener. It is also used in Asian recipes to make batters for deep-frying.
  • Singhare ka atta is used in many religious rituals and can be consumed as a phalahar diet on the Hindu fasting days.

Jaggery (molasses)

English: Jaggery (molasses)

Common Indian Name (Hindi): Gur / Gud

  • Jaggery is a traditional unrefined sugar used throughout South and South East Asia. It is normally manufactured from either sugar cane or date palms, but recent trends in its manufacture have resulted in jaggery made from the sap of coconut and sago palms.
  • It contains the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice & this crowns it as one of the most wholesome and healthy sugars in the world. In Mexico & South America, it is also known as panela.
  • In traditional Indian medicine, called Ayurveda, this sugar has several purposes. It may be prescribed for use for people with sore throats. It has some use in the treatment of bronchial or lung infections, and in fact in research has shown to possibly offset some of the lung damage caused by silicosis, a disease of the lungs that occurs when people are exposed for a long time to silica powder.
  • In taste this unrefined sugar has been compared to brown sugar, and to other forms of raw sugar.
  • It is high in simple carbohydrates. It is rich in magnesium, iron, & potassium.

Kuttu Ka Atta or Buckwheat flour

  • Kuttu Atta is flour ground from Fagopyrum esculentum, known more casually as buckwheat.
  • It has a rich, nutty flavor and a very high nutritional value, making it popular in many nations, especially in Asia.
  • Buckwheat is not a cereal or grass. It is called a pseudo cereal to emphasize that it is not related to wheat.
  • Buckwheat flour is gluten free, leading people with gluten intolerance to seek it out as a flour alternative
  • The buckwheat is ground, typically with the outer bran, which is high in fiber and other nutrients. The bran turns the resulting buckwheat flour a rich brown color, with dark flecks. Then, the buckwheat flour can be packaged for sale on its own, or blended with other flours.
  • Most buckwheat is ground into flour and used for a variety of foods, including noodles in Japan and pancakes and breakfast cereals in the U.S. Russians and eastern Europeans make a wide range of foods with buckwheat.