Pomegranate is a fruit with ancient origins that grew in the middle-east, Asia, the Mediterranean region and south western parts of united states. In Greek Mythology Pomegranate is addressed as “The Fruit of the Gods! Since it has been linked to fertility and immortality.
It is best known for its jewel like arils stored inside its leathery red rind. Pomegranate may seem like an intimidating fruit but breaking through its tough outer covering to get inside to the juicy ruby red seeds is worth the effort since they have a great amount of nutritional benefits attached to it.
Pomegranate as we all know has many uses however it is frequently used raw with whole seeds as an ingredient or as a colorful garnish. The raw seeds are also used to make bright red juice, it is enjoyed as a healthy refreshing beverage, a cocktail mixer and also a part of sweet and savory sauces, Chaats, salads and more. My experience with pomegranate or anardana as we call it has been exhilarating and awesome ingredient in various forms from fresh to dried versions as well!
Here are some of the Health Benefits of Pomegranate:
1. Pomegranate is a good source of iron, an essential and vital requirement in our body.
2. Pomegranate is a strong immunity boosting fruit and must be consumed regularly.
3. Pomegranate is high in vitamin-c and potassium levels.
4. Pomegranate is said to be having anti- aging properties.
5. Pomegranate lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
6. Pomegranate is also a great source of fiber for our body.
7. Pomegranate is low in calories, ideal to be included in the weight watchers’ diets.
8. Pomegranate is said to reduce inflammation in the body since it is high in anti- oxidants.
9. Pomegranate is good for our skin as well and keeps us glowing.
10. Pomegranate is good for the brain and its functioning and also helps improve memory.
Let us know have a look at a few Culinary Uses of Pomegranate:
1. Anardana is used in indian and Persian cuisine as a souring agent much like sumac or aamchur powder. It has a nice tartness and acidity level attached to it which is great to go into recipes.
2. Anardana powder or in its ground form is perfect in chutneys, relishes and spice mix rubs which can be applied to meat, chicken and seafood as a part of marination.
3. It is magical with other fruits and spices like cinnamon as well, pomegranate along with nuts and orange peel can also be considered for a good preserve or a marmalade concept too.
4. Pomegranate can be used to make dips, add the seeds to bruschettas, toasts, salads and sprinkle them on your fruit salads and desserts.
5. This fruit has also been considered to be cooked down to prepare jellies and jams and has been used in our food processing industry in a number of ways.
6. The Italian favorite Pannacotta can also use pomegranate and turn out to be awesome and delicious, try the french versions of a pomegranate mousse and pudding concepts, from the dessert point of view we can try a no bake pomegranate parfait and fudge varieties as well.
7. Top your favorite yoghurt bowls with the fresh red ruby jewels, add them to a bowl of freshly made hummus, make a nice pomegranate salsa to go with your nachos and tacos, stir them into grains with cooked rice, quinoa, millets and oats.
8. Smoothies and health shakes also involve pomegranate and it turn out quite well in combination with banana, dates, yogurt, soy milk, melon seeds or flax seeds which can be had to start your day with positivity. It also goes well as a part of topping and garnish for pancakes or waffles with honey, peanut butter etc.
9. Pomegranate as a part of garnish goes well with Indian desserts like a Shahi Tukda, a Brown Rice Phirni or a chilled bowl of Rice Kheer, a warm Sheer Khurma or a Seviyan Payassam, topping over Malpuas with Kesari Rabdi, add it to your Sheera, Halwas, Burfis, Basundi and not to forget Shrikhand and Mishti doi.
10. Pomegranate seeds also come handy when we speak of the popular street side food in Mumbai like Dabeli, a little addition or add on into the dabeli just changes the entire visual appeal and teases the taste buds and takes the recipe to level next, similarly we also add it to various chaat concepts, bhels and kachori chaat etc.
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef, is a Mumbai based food- health & lifestyle consultant. With around 25 years of quality experience with hotels, airlines, consultancy – training & development he is a recipient of several national awards & global recognitions. Chef Kaviraj is specialised in over 33 international cuisines and loves fusion cooking, creating new recipes and sharing his experience with foodies around the globe. He has also been featured on star plus & colors television on several food shows. He may be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org / WhatsApp- 9820939336.