Spices and Seasons – Pomegranates

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PomegranatesThis week some people have love on their minds, and appropriately so. To piece together a formula for romance, let me talk about pomegranates.

Pomegranates are said to have originated in Iran, but this ruby red fruit is well loved in all across the middle east. In fact, in Greek mythology, they are attributed to be the cause of winter, well sort of.

In Greek mythology, Perseohone is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter and is the Queen of the underworld. She was abducted by Hades the king of the underworld, and she is said to have eaten a few pomegranate seeds when she was with him, thereby resulting in her having to spend a few months of the year with him. The months when she stays with him are supposed to be the months of winter.  The pomegranate is also a symbol of fertility in Spain.

In Indian cooking, the seeds are used as a garnish and in actual cooking, streaking and staining things with a beautiful ruby red appearance. The seeds are ruby red, and have a deep red and juicy appearance. The good news is that this beautiful fruit has actually very good for you, as it is full of antioxidants. So, for this weeks recipe, I have combined the pomegranate seeds with seductive saffron to create a dish that is pretty and easy. Dried pomegranate seeds are also used as a souring agent in Indian cooking. The dried seeds have a different appearance and a tart taste, and they cannot be substituted for the fresh seeds being described here.

 

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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Rinku is also the author of the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook, that highlights and offers many simple Indian recipes off the beaten path. Her second cookbook, Spices and Seasons, uses the approach in this column and marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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