Roasted Chestnuts

Warm roasted chestnuts are my new winter addiction. They are a warming and nourishing snack. I had tasted them the first time the last year when my mother-in-law brought home a bunch of them and served them warm. Oh they were yummy! Since then I make it a point a point to enjoy these delicious treats every year during the winter season when the markets seems to be flooded with them.

Chestnuts are housed in brown shiny shells. Before you buy, look for smooth, glossy and firm shells, that feel large and heavy. Avoid those with mold, or the ones with holes, which is a sign of insect activity. Store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator for not more than 1 or 2 weeks.

Chestnuts can be boiled, fire roasted, microwaved, oven or pan roasted (in a cast iron pan). Once cooked, the shell can easily be removed you can see the tan, which is the furry skin attached to the meat of the chestnut. The tan should be peeled off while the chestnuts are still hot. The meat of the chestnut is deliciously mildly sweet in flavor. Roasted chestnuts have the best flavor and fill your house with a wonderful aroma.

chestnuts with X slit marks on shells

roasted chestnuts with gaped slits

peeled warm roasted chestnuts

To roast:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Make a superficial X mark on the chestnut shells on one side using a chestnut knife or the tip of a small serrated knife (making a slit helps to vent steam, if the chestnut shells are not slit before roasting, they will explode in the oven) (be careful and do not cut yourselves). Roast chestnuts slit side up for 15-20 minutes, until the cuts gape. Shell them, remove the furry tan while still warm and enjoy.

Does anyone know what are they called in Urdu language?

Luv,
Mona

15 thoughts on “Roasted Chestnuts

  1. Mona:
    Scoring the chestnuts must be the key; I tried this last year (without scoring) and they either were difficult to peel, or got burnt. will try this.
    and yea, heavenly aroma!

    Best Wishes for the holidays
    Arun

  2. I was a total junkie, always used to eat bandi stuff all buddi ke baal (like sohan halwa), red khopra mithai, these singadhe, munjal, gaingul, bair, etc etc, my mouth is watering. those were the days…..i still remember them ringing the bell on bandi and calling out before passing our house.

    Farah, you have mentioned some of my childhood favorites too, brings back many sweet memories. ~Mona

  3. I remember my mom fixing these for us in the very cold winter days when I and my sister were little. I enjoy peeling them and love the smell of a warm tasty chestnut. At home we speak urdu and my mom calls them “singadhe”.

    Atiya, Jazakallahu Khair, but I was wondering that aren’t Singadhe those that have a black outer cover and are white inside.. ~Mona

  4. Even though my English to Urdu dictionary lists chesnuts as “maghaz”. Usnt that brain? Anyway I remember them being called “shingaara” when I was in india years ago. The were brought roasted on a cart and the guy came by every evening. One of my fav memories of that winter trip.

    Sarah, Jazakallahu Khair, but I was wondering that aren’t Singaara those that have a black outer cover and are white inside.. ~Mona

  5. Oh wow Mona,

    I had roasted chestnuts over the weekend and have some more left.I totally enjoy them warm while its cold outdoors.They also bring back good memories when I was in Abudhabi with my family and we used to have roasted chestnuts as an evening snack.

  6. Well, I have seen the chestnuts a lot in the veggies section, but didnt knew what to do with it till now:)
    All I can remember is, back in my 11th or 12th I had a lipstick by Lakme called CHESTNUT BROWN,I loved it!

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