Ingredient of the Month: Singoda Flour (aka singhara)
This month we have some singoda flour in the cupboard; perfect for gluten free or grain free dishes. To date, all we've made is singoda, buckwheat and potato flour pancakes (and very good they were too) but I'm sure it will prove itself a versatile ingredient.
Singoda -or singhara- flour is made from water chestnuts; the same water chestnuts that you get in Chinese and South East Asian cuisine. They are actually the corm of a sedge-like aquatic plant, and nothing to do with tree nuts at all; in fact, there has never been any recorded case of allergy to singoda flour, making it a great "free from" food. Find it in Asian supermarkets, or online.
Nutrition and Health Benefits: Singoda flour is rich in B vitamins and potassium, and also contains antioxidants. It's roughly 20% protein, just over 50% starch, 3% sugar and minerals and about 1% fat. It also has fibre. Studies have shown that water chestnut flour is a good food for diabetics because of its low calorific value in relation to its fibre, protein and vitamin content.
Uses: As well as the aforementioned pancakes, you can make chapatis, dhokla (steamed "cake" with chilli and mustard seeds) and even sweets like ladu... yum :)