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?