Also Known As : Dried pomegranate seeds, Anardhana, Anar dana, Dadima, Dalim, Dalam, Dadam, Dalimbari, Daan, Mathalam Pazham, Dalimb, Dalimba, Dannima Pandu.
Technical Name : Punica granatum
Anardana is a popular spice made from the dried seeds of pomegranate fruit to give a sour-sweet taste to dishes. It is popularly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The pomegranate seeds are dried along with their pulp, either by the method of the sun-drying or industrial dehydration. They are sold in whole or ground form. The origin of Anardana lies in Iran, then it was introduced in the central and southern regions of India from Iran during the first century AD. Now, it is cultivated throughout India, and most extensively in the Himalayan region of northern India. Wild pomegranates are basically used since they are too sour to eat when fresh. The seeds have a reddish-brown appearance with a sticky texture, for which it is sometimes called “pomegranate molasses.”
- Anardana contains polyphenolic antioxidants that counter the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. This prevents plaque build-up in the arteries and protecting the body against atherosclerosis.
- Anardana is packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers are essential for health. Soluble fiber swells up in the gut and prevents excess cholesterol and sugar from being absorbed by the body. This aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, removes toxins from the body and enhances digestive function.
It is best to buy anardana in the whole form than powdered form as they last longer. Crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle to get more flavor than buying them in powdered form. Buy in small quantities as their requirement is occasional and the amount needed is sparing. Look for softer seeds as they are juicier and more flavorful.