Dish out some chestnut delights

Dish out some chestnut delights

Crack open the hard reddish black or green outer layer and there emerges the nut that we all love to munch during autumn and winters. When handcarts laden with sweet potatoes and chestnuts appear in the vegetable market, we invariably end up purchasing bagfuls of them to nibble on as a  juicy snack, all day long.

While we love to snack up on raw or steamed chestnuts, aroma of the roasted chestnuts decked up on carts declares winters in the western world. Moving beyond the regular singhara atta (chestnut flour) pooris and pakodas the staple of the fasting season, or the raw and steamed chestnuts, Metrolife tries out some chestnut recipes to get you to experiment with chestnut this season.

Relatively low in calories as compared to other nuts, chestnuts are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. Popping up a chestnut, have you ever thought that it is rather bland in taste? Perhaps, that is one of its key characteristics that helps to assimilate it with as many flavours as one wants.  How about eating some chestnuts as desserts? Do not be surprised! Called marron in France, chestnuts come glazed with vanilla essence and a sugary syrup, served as marron glaces, a candied version of chestnuts. These chestnuts take up around 36 hours to soak up all the sugar that makes them gooey and yummy from inside. Well, how about a chestnut cake? This hardened nut can be mashed up  into a chestnut puree and baked with chocolates and fruits for a yummy tea-time cake.

Moving over to some exotic flavours, the Italian dish, Risotto, a rice-based fare can be cooked in chicken broth with handfuls of mushrooms and roasted chestnuts. Sizzle up this creamy recipe with the earthy aroma of roasted chestnuts.

Go rustic and prepare singhare ki sabzi, colloquially called paniphal ki sabzi in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Cooking water chestnuts with sautéed onions, bay leaf and garam masalas in a pressure cooker gives form to this traditional dish, usually accompanied with rice in this belt.  

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