Other Names: Anar (Farsi); anardana (Hindi); granada (Spanish); granat (Russian); granatapfel (German); grenade (French); komamanga (Swahili); melograna (Italian); milgraym (Yiddish); pomegranate powder; rodia (Greek); romã (Portuguese); rumman (Arabic); shiliupi (Chinese); tap tim (Thai).

General Description: Anardana is the dried seeds of varieties of pomegranate (Punica granatum) too sour to eat as fresh fruit; they have a tangy, fruity flavor. The wild pomegranate called daru, which grows in the southern Himalayas, is reputed to yield the best anardana. Though used mostly for vegetables and legumes, anardana also flavors Moghul-style meat dishes. Grenadine, reduced pomegranate juice, is used in India to marinate meat, acting as a tenderizer because of the enzymes it contains. It’s not the same as grenadine syrup, a sweet red liquid, all too often artificially colored and flavored, used for many cocktails. Pomegranate molasses is a thick reduction of the juice of a tart variety of pomegranate. In the Middle East, it’s used for salads and marinades; in Iran it goes into fesenjan, chicken in walnut-pomegranate sauce; in Armenia and Georgia, it’s used to make sauces for kebabs.

Purchase and Avoid: Buy anardana powder for ease of use; buy anardana seeds for texture and good keeping qualities. Pomegranate molasses is available in Middle Eastern groceries.

Serving Suggestions: Add anardana powder to Indian spiced chickpeas. Drizzle pomegranate molasses over crepes or gelato. Marinate shrimp with garlic, ginger, turmeric, lemon, coriander, garam masala, cumin, chiles, fenugreek, and anardana powder, then grill.

Food Affinities: Apple, beans, bulgur, chicken, chickpeas, cilantro, cream cheese, eggplant, ginger, lentils, mint, parsley, scallion, shrimp, turkey.

from Quirk Books: www.quirkbooks.com