Good food is always about the memorable experience, which leaves a long lasting indelible impression in our thoughts. When we shifted our base to countryside living for a while, singharas or the water chestnut was one of the other local produce we were introduced to, and eventually, it became family favorite. Water Chestnut usually make an appearance with the first winter breeze. The mood for this hot and spicy snack is set by the monsoon showers. Kachri is a famous street side delicacy from the by-lanes of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It was part of my growing up years in the close knitted muhallas of then Uttar Pradesh, now Uttarakhand. During winters, a steaming bowl of homemade Kachri could be expected any time from the next door neighbor’s kitchen as a kind and warm gesture. Maybe that was our way to spread cheer over Passover meals. The water chestnuts used for this recipe are the dark purple ones and not the green ones. Boiled and then cooked over low flame till the water chestnuts give the green signal that they are ready to be served. The earthy aroma of roasted water chestnut. The Kachri is then laden with vibrant and bold chutneys, chopped onion and cilantro to complete the flavorful experience. The earthy aroma of perfectly roasted water chestnuts is tempting enough to send an inviting note to the hungry goblins from near and far.
Food has indeed come a long way, from being just a hunger satiating custom what it was intended for in the first place to a culinary heritage. Like technology, it too has evolved into something innovative, unusual and exciting. It takes you to unexplored places, helps you understand tastes and culture in a better way and with its undying characteristic of entering the heart through the stomach it is indeed a unifying factor. As a food blogger what I always look for along with the experience of tasting the new savor, is that dash of nostalgia in food, the unprecedented thrill that comes from knowing the adventure in store.
These exceptional adventures with food can be named as #Foodventures. And that is the title and theme of adventure brought together by the food connoisseur and critic Vir Sanghvi, along with Michelin star chef and restaurateur Vikas Khanna. It is a venture replete with the experiences and stories of escapades with food. Recently, when I saw the video of #foodventures, it reminded me of regional recipes that have lost their charm to modern day junk food from the western world. Hence, I decided to try my hands on Singhare Ki Kachri to plate up the simple and refreshing flavors of local ingredients such as water chestnut. You can also become part of this escapade with food by sharing your culinary tales with a dash of adventure on the website of #Foodventures. It promises an exciting journey into the world of food with insights from India’s top chefs, tips along with mouth-watering recipes. So don’t miss out this chance to fame via culinary en route.
Learn how to make Singhare Ki Kachri in few simple steps:
Singhare Ki Kachri Recipe
500 gram Singhare (water chestnut)
Salt to taste
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 green chili finely chopped
an inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
Juice of 1 lemon
To make Singhare Ki Kachri, wash the water chestnut.
Pressure cook water chestnut along with salt for one or two whistle over medium heat. Turn off the heat. Let the steam release naturally from the pressure cooker.
Now it becomes easy to remove the outer peel of water chestnut. Collect the pale white pulp in a separate bowl.
Add salt, chili powder, cumin powder over the boiled water chestnut. Nicely mash it using the potato masher.The mashed water chestnut will be similar to stuffing for Aloo Paratha.
Heat butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
Now add asafoetida, grated ginger and green chili. Saute for few seconds or till the aroma of ginger is released.
Add mashed water chestnut and roast over low heat till the mixture turns pale brown in color and starts leaving sides of the pan. Keep stirring the mixture while it is roasting. Slow cooking is the trick behind making the perfect Kachri.
Once the Kachri is nicely roasted a pleasant aroma is released. The taste and texture of the mixture is also refined. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Before serving drizzle lemon juice, sprinkle chopped coriander and pour a teaspoon of melted butter on top.
Serve Singhare Ki Kachri warm with coriander chutney.