Pista is a member of the cashew family and one of the popular nuts in India. Pistachio is known to originate from Middle East and Central Asia. The seeds of this tree are consumed widely all over the world. These seeds were found around 6750 BC. It is known by multiple names in various countries. In Greece, it is called as “Pistakion”, in Italy, “Pistacchio” and “Pesteh” in Persian. These trees grow in fully drained soil and but in case of high humidity, they will not be able to survive. Hot and long summers are helpful in ripening of Pistachio fruit. Top 5 countries producing Pistachio nuts are Iran, USA, Turkey, China and Syria. As a matter of fact, Iran and US alone account for 75% of the world’s production of Pistachio. In India, it is grown in Jammu & Kashmir and its varieties are known as “Kerman”, “Chiko”, “Peter”, “Joley” and “Red Allepo”. It is known as Pista all over India.
One of the culinary nut, pistachio is full of amazing health benefits. The dietary fiber, essential dietary minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fats are available in pistachio. It is a good source of calcium, Vitamin B5 and B6, Vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamin and folate etc.
Usage in Indian Kitchen
Pista barfi and Pista laddu are two of the major delicacies made from Pista. It is crushed and mixed with almonds and milk and served chilled during the summers. It is also used in confectionery items such as biscuits, baklava and cookies. It is used as a dressing in Halwa, Kheer and cakes. The seeds are consumed raw as a snack or roasted and salted.
Health Benefits of Pista
- Good for heart’s health.
- Good for eyes.
- Boosts the immunity system.
- Helps in boosting good gut bacteria.
- Boosts the metabolism and helps in weight loss.