Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pomegranates: The Super Fruit

As I walk into the supermarket's produce aisles during the fall season, my eyes light up at the sight of pomegranates. Pomegranates are one of the fruits that was written about in ancient Greek mythology. The pomegranate, a super fruit as I call it, is becoming a  popular sight in American supermarkets. Pomegranate seeds are like jewels, which I use as my favorite garnish for lemon rice, yogurt rice and salads.

Pomegranates are native to Persia. The drought-tolerant pomegranate tree has been cultivated in Persia, Iran, Afgahnistan, Russia and the northern part of India for several millenia.

In my village in India, my grandmother's house had a pomegranate tree. But that tree never saw a ripened fruit, because my younger brother, Bhasker and I used to eat all the fruits before they reached maturity. Sometimes my grandmother used to tie a piece of fabric around the fruit to camouflage the fruit to preserve them until their mature stage.  But they never used to escape our x-ray eyes. Now I have three trees in my orchard overflowing with fruit. But my passion for pomegranates never diminished. I love pomegranates now as much as I loved them as a child.

The pomegranate's antioxidant power is enormous along with the spice turmeric. In Indian ancient Ayurvedic medicine, pomegranates were extensively used as remedies for thousands of years, including the bark of tree and rind of the fruit. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that pomegranate juice and seeds are the healthful counterbalance for diets rich in sugar and fat. One research study showed that in a test tube, extracts of the fruit can inhibit the spreading of human breast cancer cells and several other cancer cells.

Pomegranate juice has been a popular drink from street vendors in India. Dried pomegranate seed powder called anardhana is used as a spice in Indian food . Anardhana is a souring agent in spice blends such as chaat masala powder. I freeze pomegranate juice to enjoy it throughout the year in cocktails such as pomegranate martinis and margaritas or just to enjoy it as a refreshing drink in the morning. I glaze my meats with pomegranate molasses. A popular traditional Persian dish fesenjan, has sauce that is made from pomegranate juice and ground walnuts that is spooned over chicken. 

 I hope I inspire you to include pomegranates in your diet. They are so good for you!

 Guess what I I decorate my house with during the holiday season? Pomegranates, of course!

  The tree is overbearing with fruit.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including gluten free recipes), please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

I am joining Susan's Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday and Outdoor Wednesday.


  1. When I was little, Santa would leave a pomegranate inside our stockings with a coconut and other fruits. We loved to eat them. I'll have to convince Santa to restart this tradition with me.

  2. I love pomegranate on salads. Wow, your tree is so heavy with this an exceptional year or is it like that each year?

  3. Mimi,
    Every year these trees produce fruit like that. I feel very blessed.

  4. they look so rich and healthy. lucky u, to have the fruit-full of tree in hour garden..just yday i had an urge to have anaar and i picked up one from the supermarket. i always worry about it being rotten from inside.. do u know how to judge a pomegranate from its appearance, wgt, color etc? i like the ones with light pink tinge which are full of sweet tangy juice.. the one u have also looks quite inviting..

    ps: hv started reading u lately.. thru reader mainly.. where do u live? i am assuming not in india.. though my grandmum has this tree in her garden too.. in northern/himalayan region.

  5. Tarabhatt,
    I have three different varieties of pomegranates trees in my backyard. I believe in health benefits of pomegranates so I keep adding to my collection. I just planted two more trees.
    When you buy the fruit pick the one with bright skinned and firm fruit.
    Lastly, I live in southern California. Keep eating wonderful fruit.

  6. Last year, I planted a pomegranate tree in our yard....and it bore fruit the very first growing season. I love 'em so!!!!

    My Wednesday Link Do take time to stop by if you can. I also have a Christmas Day Gift Giveaway for you if you'd like to click on the very top button [Santa button] on my blog that'll direct you to another page, to view my gift,...sign up for your chance to win!!

  7. I love posts that teach me something I hadn't known before. Your photos are also wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. What lovely photos. Looks like you have some beautiful fruit there. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.