Singhara atta comes from waterchestnut which is the underground storage bulb, of the waterchestnut plant. Waterchestnuts do not contain gluten, and in fact is a great grain substitute for those allergic to gluten.
Singhara flour is ground from the dried water chestnut seeds. For preparing the flour, the nuts are peeled, boiled and finally crushed into flour. It is a form of starch.
Singhara atta forms a part of the phalahari diet followed during fasts. The flour needs to be combined with potatoes for binding.
It is amazing, how this humble flour lends itself to making innumerable delicacies which are relished by everyone during the navratras. It can vary from the basic chapatti to the lip smacking paranthas, puris, pakoras, vadas and can be used to concoct sweets like halwa or pancakes.
The flour has a bright white colour and is starchier by texture. It is used in the Asian cuisine to make the batter for deep-frying and as a thickening agent.
Singhara flour has a remarkable nutritional composition which makes it an ideal diet. Singhara flour is gluten free. The flour is a heavy appetizer and keeps one full for longer periods during fasting while also providing for essential nutrients.
It is a good source of potassium, minerals and antioxidants. Its kernel contains a high level of protein and starch (52%) but low levels of fat (1%).
Benefits of Singhara and its atta
- It has a detoxifying effect – Singhara has detoxifying effect because of high levels of antioxidants which reduces any stress in the body due to illness.
- Has cooling properties – Cooling because it helps to regulate water levels in our body because of being rich in potassium.
- Helps prevent goiter and thyroid problems- These ailments occur due to deficiency of iodine. Water caltrop is rich in minerals like iodine, manganese, potassium and so on. So, the intake of this fruit in ample amount make your thyroid health fit and the level of mineral salts become stable.
- Ideal food for old age, kids and during fasting – Rich in micro and macro nutrients – Waterchestnut provides wholesome nutrition as it is rich in vitamin B and C, iron, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium and minerals. This makes it an ideal food for old age too.
- Helps improve liver activity – beneficial for people suffering from jaundice, fatty liver.
Water chestnut flour should be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark place. It stays for longer periods specially through the rainy season when kept refrigerated.
When used as a thickener, stir in water before adding to hot sauce or liquid to reduce lumps.