Fresh pomegranate season may have ended, but it's still possible to cook with these fruits in their dried, spice form. Dried pomegranate seeds, also known as anardana, are a fairly new ingredient for us, but here are some of the things we have learned.
Dried in the sun or with a dehydrator, the pomegranate seeds may be left whole or ground into a powder. The anardana we bought (pictured) was crushed until crumbly and slightly sticky. It has a deep, concentrated tartness and only a faint hint of the fresh pomegranate's sweetness. Although not identical, the flavor is related to lemon, sumac and tamarind.
This ingredient is traditionally used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, where it may be added to chutneys, stews, tagines, spice rubs, and breads. We would suggest using it sparingly at first, until you determine the level of tanginess you want to add to your dish. We loved it in our Pomegranate Lentil Soup and imagine it could work in Za'atar Seasoning Blend (sprinkled over Homemade Pita Bread) and Sumac-Dusted Oven Fries with Garlic Spread. Later this week, we'll share our recipe for chickpeas with anardana.
Have you ever used this spice?
Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Pomegranate Molasses
(Images: Emily Ho)