All About Anardana; History To Benefits Of This Spice
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Indian food is renowned all over the world, and its credit goes to the use of numerous ingredients in cooking it. From mild herbs like coriander to flavourful spice mixes like garam masala, the addition of each of these items gives our food a marvellous taste. Along with flavour, these ingredients also possess many health benefits. One such ingredient is anardana, or pomegranate seeds.

The seeds extracted from the pomegranate fruit and dried for long-term use give this spice a sweet, sour, and tangy taste in our dishes. Popularly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, its origin lies in Iran, and it was brought to India during the first century AD. Now, it is grown throughout the country, mainly in the Himalayan region of northern India. 

Though their contribution may not be recognised in our food so much, these tiny seeds are loaded with health benefits. Here are four reasons to include anardana in your meals: 

  • According to Medical News Today, pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants that protect our bodies against inflammation and free radicals.  
  • They are also loaded with a good amount of fibre, which makes anardana beneficial for the digestive system. 
  • According to PharmEasy, the compounds present in pomegranate seeds help manage cholesterol levels in the body, which is good for the heart. 
  • According to a report by Everyday Health, pomegranate seeds also contribute to lowering blood pressure and weight loss. 

4 Ways Of Using Anardana In Cooking

Chutneys And Curries 

You can coarsely grind anardana and use it while preparing curries and chutneys. It gives the dish a sweet and sour taste and also thickens the curry sauce. You can also season your aloo tikkis and chaats with dried pomegranate seeds to enhance their flavours.

In Salads 

Salads are a versatile dish that can be consumed at every meal. They are not only easy to prepare but can also be improvised according to one’s preference. Along with other ingredients like pepper, lemon juice, and chaat masala, you can add anardana to your salads to enhance their flavours and nutrient content. 

In Meat And Fish Dishes

You can also improve the taste of your meat and fish recipes with anardana. All you need to do is roast the seeds in the oven for a minute and grind them into a coarse powder. Season the dish with it, and store the remaining powder in an airtight container. This roasted spice can be used for soups, stocks, and marinades. 

For Sweetbreads

While baking any sweet breads, muffins, or cookies, we often add a few raisins or nuts to them for a crunchy texture and yummy taste. You can also use dried pomegranate seeds instead of them to give the bread an interesting flavour. Anardana can be added to fruit cakes as well.