Water chestnut or water caltrop is an aquatic plant, belonging to the genus Trapa, whose odd-looking fruit encloses a single large edible seed.
In India, water chestnut is called Singhara, or Paniphal. Singhara has been cultivated in India for at least 3000 years for its seeds. These seeds have been widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine In India and are also popular in Chinese medicine.
Benefits of water chestnut during pregnancy –
- Singhara is very beneficial for women. Due to its nutritive, strengthening, and cooling properties it increases fertility and chances of conception.
- It is rich in vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and helps to stabilize pregnancy
- It is said that water chestnut protects pregnancy and decreases the risk of threatened abortion.
- During pregnancy, it is helpful to the growth and development of the fetus. It makes developing baby healthy and strong.
- Regulates water retention: It 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
- The seed also helps to treat hypertension during pregnancy.
- Some women experience thyroid hormone irregularities during pregnancy or post-pregnancy. Due to the presence of iodine, water chestnut it is effective in the proper functioning of thyroid gland.
- Singhara is very rich in carbohydrate and 100 gm of it gives 115 calories. making it a good high-calorie snack during lactation too. It is also said to improve lactation by stimulating the mammary gland
How to use:
- Eat raw as a fruit – my favourite way, and the easiest, just peel the fruit and eat as raw as it is.
- Add to salads and stir fries – you can also chop the peeled fruit and add to salads or sauté in stir fries.
- Add to curries or prepare veggies – some people like to use it in place of potatoes, to prepare water chestnut and green pea curry, others also cook it as a simple fry veggie, tempered with curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. For using it in curries and veggies, the singhara needs to first be boiled or pressure cooked…
- Make cutlets – When you can use it in place of potato, you can also make cutlets with it!!! Just add boiled and mashed singhara to other boiled veggies, and prepare cutlets, and shallow fry.
- Singhara halwa – dried singhara is also available in the form of flour, which can be used like semolina to make halwa. Just roast it in ghee, add sugar and warm water, and cook to the desired consistency. Top with your favourite dry fruits and enjoy!!
- Make chillas/pancakes – Singhara flour can also be used to make pancakes or chillas, mix the flour with curds and water to make a pouring consistency, add spices of your choice and make chillas, enjoy with chutney!
- Use to make chapattis – Singhara flour can be used to make, chapattis, or parathas.
- Use in baked goods – add it to your cakes and cookies to make them more nutritious…
- Make puris, cracker or chips – Yes, Why not!! You can even make cracker or baked chips with these, by following any simple cracker recipe.
- Make a dip or a chutney – Last but not the least, yes you can add a little crunch to your dip or green chutney, by adding a few water chestnuts to it…