pistachios

What is pistachios, pista? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes with pistachios, pista | Viewed 54157 times

Also Known as
Pista

What is pistachios, pista?


Today, pistachios remain one of the most popular nuts for people of all ages. Pistachios or Green almonds as they are sometimes called are popular because of their small size, green colour and easy to open shells. Pistachios are grown on trees and have naturally tan shells. The kernels inside the shells are a greenish tan. They get their greenish coloring from chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural pigment that gives leaves their green color.

Pistachios are typically sold with the shells partly open and the kernels peeking out, making the task of separating the kernels from their shells easy. The shell actually opens on its own during the growth process. As the pistachio nut grows, it expands until it pops its shell open. Pistachios are an excellent and rich tasting nut. They are available in Large, Medium and small sizes. Hence, one can purchase as per one's need or occasion.

Blanched and chopped pistachios
To blanch the pistachios, remove the shells, place pistachios in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and drain immediately. Place hot pistachios on a towel, fold the towel over to cover the pistachios, and rub to loosen the skins. Remove the skin and chop them finely or coarsely as per the recipe.

Blanched and sliced pistachios
To blanch the pistachios, remove the shells, place pistachios in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and drain immediately. Place hot pistachios on a towel, fold the towel over to cover the pistachios, and rub to loosen the skins. Remove the skin. Blanched pistachios can be sliced using a sharp knife. Slice by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice it thinly or thickly, as desired. It is best used for garnishing sweet dishes or any vegetable/rice preparation.
Blanched pistachios
To blanch the pistachios, remove the shells, place pistachios in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and drain immediately. Place hot pistachios on a towel, fold the towel over to cover the pistachios, and rub to loosen the skins. Remove the skin.

Chopped pistachios
Remove the shell of the pistachios. Place a pista on the chopping board and then make vertical cuts and then horizontal cuts using a sharp knife. You can chop them finely or roughly as per the recipe requirement.
Crushed pistachios
Pistachios can be crushed partially or finely as desired. It can be done with either using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. This can be a great addition to any sweet or savoury food items.
Pistachio slivers
Slice pistachios, using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement. 
Powdered pistachios
Pistachios can be powdered and can be grinded into a blender. It can be powdered finely or thickly, as per one's choice and recipie demands. The chief use of it is to thicken the gravies imparting a rich taste.

How to select pistachios, pista


Choose nuts that are split open at one end. Unopened shells are an indicator of immaturity. The greener the nutmeat, the better the flavor. Pistachios are available year-round in many forms including raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, shelled and unshelled. For cooking purposes, it is best to choose pistachios that have not been dyed. 

Culinary Uses of pistachios, pista in Indian Cooking


· Pistachios are not just enjoyed as a snack food; they are also used in baking and cooking.
· Their unique texture and coloring makes them a popular addition to salads and appetizers.
· They are also a frequent addition to entrees and desserts.
· To reduce the sodium and fat content of your diet, avoid salted, oil-roasted pistachio nuts.
· Let these nuts form part of a healthy, balanced diet: sprinkle the pistachios on yoghurt, hot or cold cereal, or in cream cheese spreads for sandwiches and crackers. Add chopped pistachios to your favourite bread, pancake, waffle or muffin recipe or snack on them between meals.

How to store pistachios, pista


Since the shell splits upon ripening to expose the nutmeat, pistachios have a limited shelf life. Store pistachios in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unshelled nuts can be stored for 3 months in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer. Shelled pistachios can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 months, but are not a good candidate for freezing. Fresh pistachios have a nice crunch, so keep them away from absorbing moisture from the air to maintain their freshness.

Health benefits of pistachios, pista

Pistachios are rich in potassium (helps regulate the body's fluid balance), phosphorus (helps build bones and teeth) and magnesium (important element in the conversion of the body's energy), and are also a good source of vitamin B6 (aids protein metabolism and absorption) and thiamine (enhances energy and promotes normal appetite). These nuts are also a very good source of protein and keep you full for long time. Like walnuts and almonds, pistachios can also cut heart disease risk. Its high monounsaturated fat content may actually lower cholesterol levels in the blood. However pistachios are often sold in salted form. Beware of this as the high sodium level will then negate the potassium content it possesses. The copper, zinc and magnesium in pistachios help to strengthen the immune system, helping us stay fit.