Nut of Hazel and also called as Cobnut, hazelnut is oval in shape and is used across the world for making confectionery items. It is in existence for last 9000 years. Generally hazelnuts are cultivated during the mid-autumn every year. Top 5 countries producing Hazelnut are Turkey, Italy, USA, Georgia and Azerbaijan. As a matter of fact, Oregon alone accounts for 99% of the production of Hazelnut in US. In India, it is grown in Himachal Pradesh and its varieties are known as “Atababa”, “Butler”, “Barcelona”, “Halls Giant”, “Lewis” and many others. It is grown in orchards annually. Hazelnuts are called by a number of names in India. Findak, PahadiBadam, Bindak, Pingalphal, Filbert are some of the local names of hazelnut in India.
Hazelnuts are full of nutritional value. They are rich source of protein, unsaturated fat, significant amounts of vitamin B6, thiamine and smaller amounts of other vitamins. These are high in oleic acid (fatty acid), which helps in lowering the cholesterol levels. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium are also present in hazelnuts. The cardio protective arginine is also present in Hazelnuts which is a kind of amino acid and helps in relaxing the blood vessels.
Usage in Indian Kitchen
Hazelnuts are generally roasted and consumed either in stir fry dishes or added in salads. These are usually used to make butter and dressings. For all the chocolate lovers, hazelnut is an important part of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, our very favorite chocolate spread Nutella and chocolate truffle pastry’s and cakes. In some parts of the country you will find vodka based hazelnut liquors as well. The oil extracted from hazelnuts is used for cooking purposes as well.
Health Benefits of Pahadi Badaam / Pingal Phal
- Helpful for making the hair and skin healthy.
- Helps in weight loss.
- Helps in preventing cancer.
- Helps in managing diabetes.
- Ensures optimum heart health.