What is water chestnuts?

It is not a nut but a floating aquatic plant that grows in marshes. It is commonly used in Chinese cooking. It is a seasonal fruit that is available only after the monsoon until the start of winter. Devil’s pod, buffalo nut, water caltrop are some of its other names.

It is a knobby edible tuber with a reddish black skin and a white crunchy flesh. The baroquely shaped fruits resemble the head of a bull.

Rinse before use and remove the flesh while being consumed. They have a sweet taste with a slight crunch, somewhat nutty.

Because of their living characteristics, toxic content is formed in the seeds. The fruit is roasted to remove the toxins. While purchasing make sure you buys the ones that look firm and are wrinkle free. Unpeeled chestnuts can last up to a week. They should be stored in the refrigerator.

Use of water chestnuts

Roasted Singhara is consumed as a raw fruit, boiled or is grounded to powder and added as an ingredient in dishes. They are commonly used in Chinese and South East Asian cuisines.

It is dried and made into flour in India. Boiled singharas are sold as a popular street food snack in India.

Singhara fruit and its by-products like the juice and flour are used in cookery and medicine as well.

They are frequently eaten raw or added to stir fries, stuffing and dumplings for texture and it’s sweet flavor. Steamed, the skin takes on a blackened color and it tastes almost like a potato.

** source : Food NDTV


What is taro?

Taro root is a starchy root vegetable originally cultivated in Asia but now enjoyed around the world. It has a brown outer skin and white flesh with purple specks throughout. When cooked, it has a mildly sweet taste and a texture similar to potato.

Taro root is a great source of fiber and other nutrients and offers a variety of potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar management, gut and heart health.

** source : HealthLine


What is cardamom?

Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped and have a triangular cross-section.

The pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground. The seeds are small and black, while the pods differ in color and size by species.


What are poppy seeds?

The poppy plant has been part of the agricultural world since the early ages, having been mentioned in the early accounts of the Greeks and Romans. The earliest documentation reaches as far back as 3,000 years ago. For the Egyptians, poppies symbolized rebirth because of its ability to be “reborn” after the harvest season.

The poppy plant is also a well-known symbol of remembrance for war veterans, which originates from its mention in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” which symbolizes the beauty and the renewal of war-ravaged land.

Aside from its literary and historical symbolism, the poppy plant is widely known for the various products that can be sourced from it. The vibrant poppy flowers are also used for ornamental purposes by the gardening community. After the poppy flowers start to dry up, its kidney-shaped seeds start developing in the pods. 

This is one of the products from the poppy plant that is legal to produce and acquire. The opiate component of the plant is said to disappear once the seeds develop, making it safe for consumption. One of the easiest indications whether the seeds are ready for harvest is the rattling sound the pods give off when they are slightly shaken.

Poppy seeds come in three different colors: white, blue and black. Blue seeds are commonly called the European poppy seeds because they are abundant in that part of the world, while white poppy seeds are called Indian, Middle Eastern or Asian. There are no distinct differences between these types aside from their color, with the choice mainly depending on the color preference of the baker or the cook and its availability.

Poppy seeds are mainly used in the culinary world for their crunchy texture and unique flavor. One of the most famous pastries that incorporate poppy seeds originates from Hungary, and is called makosh, or Hungarian poppy seed roll; it uses poppy seeds as a filling. Today, poppy seeds are commonly added to bagels, puddings, cakes and tarts. But although it’s usually added to baked goods, its culinary use is not limited to this.

Use of poppy seeds

Poppy seeds are usually incorporated into recipes for scones, pastries, rolls and even main dishes. Chefs and cooks often add poppy seeds to heighten the flavor of the dishes and lend an unexpected nutty twist to their recipes.

Its flavor is often characterized as walnut-like, fruity and slightly smoky. If you want to try out some healthy choices for poppy seed recipes.

** source : Food Facts