Common name: anar

Botanical name: Punica granatum

The pomegranate originated in the region extending from modern-day Iran to northern India. The juice and seeds feature in many dishes, particularly those with Mughlai heritage.

Pomegranate juice is tangy, sweet, rich and flavorful. This juice is used as the base for sauces and flavorings for drinks, savory dishes, and sweets, while the seeds are a delight eaten fresh or used as a colorful garnishing accent. Pomegranate seeds can be added to salads, such as kachumber to give an exotic lift.

Fresh pomegranates are available from good greengrocers. Look for pomegranates with unblemished, shiny skins. Those that feel heavy for their size are the juiciest. Avoid any with soft patches.

The pulp and seeds are considered to increase appetite, and are also used as laxative.

to remove the seeds

Cut pomegranate across its middle then, holding a half over a bowl, cut-side down, hit the skin several times with a rolling-pin. The seeds should pop out. Be careful when preparing pomegranates, as the juice stains.

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