Daily Archives: March 16, 2015

A journey down memory lane-Singada or Water Chestnuts

Singada or Water Chestnuts

Last November, I had visited my Home Country for attending my Niece’s wedding. It was indeed a fantastic trip, as apart from the marriage functions I was able to travel by road to meet the rest of my family members. During this travel we took a break for some snacks and hot cups of tea/Chai. At that place I noticed this man with his stack of freshly boiled Singadas, as they are called at home. The English name is Water Chestnut. During my childhood, my mom would bring home these from the weekly vegetable market and in no time they would be all over. The sight of these stopped me in my track and I requested the vendor to give me 100 Singadas, and also asked him if I could take pictures as he went about cutting them for me. I love the Singadas and it is difficult to stop eating after 5 or 6 and hence the 100 were ordered 😉. The kind fellow agreed to my request for taking the pictures and hence I am able to write this post. When one keeps moving from place to place like a nomad, then these simple pleasures of eating things found in home town have to be forgotten. My kids were at loss to understand my excitement at eating them, and in no mood too to wait at the place as I kept catching a word or two with the vendor.

A single boiled Singada with its thorns, the sharp ends broken.

These Singadas are collected from the ponds and taken home by these farmers, then cleaned and washed, as they are covered with mud. Then they are boiled in water with salt so that the salt can seep inside it. The boiling makes the outer covering soft and then one can easily cut them. Cutting is required to remove the sharp thorn ends and to make an opening to open the outer cover.

This special cutter is used to cut the thorns of the Singada.

I was in awe of the man as he was cutting each Singada with so much expertise, holding the  cutter in the toes, and ‘chop’ chop’ going with his hands and carefully placing them on the top of his bamboo basket cover in a neat circular arrangement. After he was done cutting 100 Singadas for me, he made a cone of a Newspaper and started counting and putting them in the cone.

Thorn cut Singadas
Thorn cut Singadas
Look how amazing these Singadas look!

One can easily remove the outer cover of these cut Singadas to eat the white, sweetish yet somewhat salty edible inside part. The hands do become little black as we go about removing the cover, but then to enjoy something this tasty I presume that is not a big deal. One can always wash the hands, right!!😉

Have a great day friends.