Singhara (Water Chestnut) Pulao

Hello buddies. Sorry to keep coming and going out of hibernate mode. The air of festivity is such that it doesn’t let me sit down in one lonely corner and write. And this pattern would continue till Diwali it seems. I have been missing reading lovely recipes of fellow food bloggers though and hope to catch up soon.

This one is a lovely meal that my mom makes during this season when Singhara is available in the vegetable markets. It is quick to make once the singharas are peeled. The following is a little excerpt about singhara from wikipedia:

In India it is known as singhara or paniphal (eastern India) and is widely cultivated in fresh water lakes. The fruits are eaten raw or boiled. When the fruit has been dried, it is ground to a flour called singhare ka atta. Singhare ka atta is used in many religious rituals and can be consumed as a phalahar diet on the Hindu fasting days, the navratas.[3]

Serves: 3

Cooking Time: 30 Mins


Singhara (Water Chestnut) – 500 gms (with skin)

Rice – 1 cup
Ghee (Clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
A pinch of Asafoetida
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Bay leaf dried – 1 or 2
Black cardamom – 1 or 2
Red Chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns – 4-5
Salt to taste


  • Peel/tear off the green colored skin of singharas. This is the time consuming part of this recipe. If after peeling you see a orangish thin layer on the singhara, scrape it with a knife. The inner most white portion is what to be used here.
  • Cut it into pieces.
  • In a pressure cooker pan, heat ghee. Add asafetida. Add bay leaf. Add cumin, pepper corns and black cardamom.
  • Add singhara pieces. Add salt, red chill powder and coriander powder. Saute for a few minutes. Add garam masala.
  • Add rice and 2 and 1/3 cups of water. Close the lid and cook on high till steam develops. Lower the heat and cook for about 12-15 minutes as per the cooking time of your rice. Normally I put water double the quantity of rice. So here I am putting a little extra for singharas to cook. Some rice need presoaking and some need more water to cook. So vary these parameters as per your quality of rice.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with plain yoghurt or raita.

Variation: You can omit rice and make a singhara sabzi instead by pressure cooking till one whistle.

Though we get this fruit during this season in Delhi, I am not sure where all it is available in India. This is something I am keen to find out 🙂 So if you live in any part of India I would  love to hear from you. Do you get singharas in your city??


16 Responses to “Singhara (Water Chestnut) Pulao”
  1. Kalyani says:

    looks delicious and very nice clicks ……………..

  2. Priti says:

    Yum …..looks so delicious and just love this one …nice pics

  3. Radhika says:

    Lovely one pot meal.

  4. Priya says:

    quite interesting and fabulous..

  5. I have heard about it and seen it, but personally never had this fruit. This sounds superb.

  6. Sadhana says:

    Looks superb and very new to me.

  7. Hyma Bala says:

    a very different pulao with such simple ingredients. hv never heard of this or seen this anywhere in Chennai…let me take a conscious look at the wholesale veggie market when i visit in future! Though, i would say this looks close to mangoostans…but they hv a seed inside.

  8. Prathima Rao says:

    Delicious pulao!!! I have never tasted singhara..In fact never even seen it!! Looks like something that should not be missed..Do try & post a pic of how it looks as a whole so that I can hunt high & low for it 🙂

  9. Delicious Pulao,luks so tempting…

  10. Anonymous says:

    what a gr8 way to use water chestnuts, they r really healthy. will definitely try this sometime.

  11. Raks says:

    This is so new to me,sounds really good!

  12. Tadka Pasta says:

    Its been years since we ate a fresh singhada..have been making do with the canned pieces in noodles and such. Definitely going to try this pulao, it looks fabulous and the l’l lady loves water chestnuts 🙂

  13. pranati nath says:

    wow..looks delicious..& mouthwatering…..:)

  14. Farhat Yasmin says:

    yep..we get ’em here in Assam too..awsm recipe…dint kno wt to do wid all doz mum brot frm market…gonna go try it nw 🙂 thank you fr sharing it

  15. Rinky says:

    Yes but how to make singhara’s flour can i get that in market? Thanx fa d recipi:-) give me more yummy vegetarian reciepes .

    • Hi There! Thank you for your kind comment. Sorry for the delay in response as I have been travelling.
      Here in Delhi and some part of North we get Singhara flour in the market. Sorry, I am not aware of the process of making the flour.

      I would definitely keep posting Veg recipes, that is what CinnamonNChillies is about 🙂


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