The Pomegranate with fruit like beautiful red jewels glistening in the sun always makes me think of far-off climes and hot sandy deserts…I have updated and reposted it for any new readers of my blog…Enjoy!
Pomegranate just says eat me it is such a beautiful fruit and even just a few arils scattered over a dish make it look and taste so wonderful… it is another fruit that grows in abundance here and I can see the little pomegranates as I type. The branches swaying in the gentle breeze.
It has beautiful flowers and is grown as an ornamental tree because of these.
Although not native to Japan or Korea it is widely grown there as when they mature the bark makes unusual, twisted patterns and hence this tree is very suitable for Bonsai trees… some Bonsai trees live up to 200 years.
Originally from Iran, it has been successfully cultivated throughout the Meditteranean area and North India. It grows very successfully from seed and we have many pomegranate trees here..well in almost every garden, this edible fruit is a berry and the tree is extremely drought tolerant so suited to the climate here and other Asian countries.
Medicinally the fruit rind is used to treat chronic dysentery and diarrhoea. The pulp and seeds are used as a laxative.
Like many people I was put off by getting those little seeds out from the surrounding membrane don’t they make a lot of mess? but if you separate the seeds in a bowl of water it is much easier to do. Tricks of the trade so simple when you know-how!
They make wonderful juices, smoothies, garnishes for cooking…I just love seeing those little red jewel-like berries scattered over some lamb, duck or just a simple eggplant dish and Pomegranate syrup is a lovely thing and elevates many a dish.
Lovely in a cocktail as well…just saying…lol
Just make a lovely gin and soda cocktail and add a handful of pomegranates and a splash of the syrup..it’s very nice and has a beautiful pink colour.
Or blend your own grenadine with pomegranate juice, sugar and orange blossom water to liven up lemonade and make your favourite cocktails and mocktails…
Pomegranate seeds are also used to make a spice called anardana which is very popular in Indian and Pakistan cuisine it is made from the dried seeds of the pomegranate and then ground to a fine powder. It is used as a flavour enhancer in many dishes from salads, meats, smoothies and yoghurts.
I cannot buy pomegranate syrup/ molasses here but it is very easy to make and I love it poured over Ice cream.
To make the syrup you need
- 4 cups of Pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice.
Put the arils….which is what the fleshy coloured coverings are called into your blender and pulse just enough to break them up. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Put the juice into a large wide pan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, let the juice simmer until it has reduced to about a cup or a cup and a quarter and is nice and syrupy. Pour into a sterilised jar/ bottle, cool and keep in the refrigerator.
Because Pomegranates vary in their sweetness and acidity you may need to add more or less sugar/lemon juice.
Fruit vinegar is so lovely and very versatile.
Any good quality wine vinegar can be used or balsamic vinegar as it gives a sweeter tasting vinegar.
To make you will need equal quantities of pomegranate seeds to vinegar. What I do is decide on the bottles or jars I am using and measure the vinegar in that then once I know the amount of vinegar I then work out how many arils I will need( they must be deseeded)
.Put the pomegranate seeds in a saucepan and flatten them to release the juice ( use a plastic cup or something to flatten the seeds.
Bring them to a slow rolling boil not completely boiling so as to release the pomegranate juice and turn off the heat. Pour everything into a sterilized jar or bottle and cover the top loosely and allow to cool completely. Once cool put the cap on the jar or bottle and store it in a dark cool place or in the fridge the flavour will develop as the days go by…When ready to use strain the vinegar you can add some molasses to strengthen the flavour or add sugar to sweeten.
It can be used as a drink by adding a tbsp or two of vinegar to a glass of water and sweeten with honey. OR used to make salad dressings either on its own or by mixing with Olive oil, garlic or mustard.
It also makes a lovely gift..who doesn’t like a bottle of handmade vinegar…
I hope you are enjoying these Tropical Friday posts …Thank you for reading and I hope you love the recipes …xxx