Anardana is a spice used in Indian cooking to give a sour-sweet taste to dishes. It is made from the dried seeds of pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum).
The seeds are dried along with the pulp, either by sun-drying or other means of dehydration. They are then ground or sold in whole form.
The sweet astringency of the dried seeds and flesh makes them a popular acidulant for Indian dishes, and they are an alternative to mango powder or amchur, which does not have the advantage of also giving some sweetness. Tamarind is used for similar purposes.
The most prized pomegranate for making anardana is a variety called Daru which grows wild ni the lower Himalayas. Other regions for pomegranate for anadarna are the hills of Jammu, some parts of Chama, Kangra, and the Himachal, Pradesh, and Punjab districts.
The fruits are picked around mid-October, the seeds and pulp are separated by hand, and allowed to dry for 10 to 15 days, turning a reddish-brown.
As a spice, anardana is in small amounts for chutneys, some curries, stuffings, vegetables, lentils, and chickpeas, as an acidulant. Indians sometimes sprinkle anardana on yogurt raitas. It is also thought to be medicinal and soothing to the stomach, as well as good for the heart. The spice is also sometimes used in Iran and other parts of the Middle East, but a syrup from fresh pomegranate seeds is more often used. Pomegranate, in general, is a much-esteemed fruit in India, as well as part of the Middle East. All parts of the fruit are used. Also see how the pomegranate got its name.
Other Names for Anardana
Andardana is the name used in Hindi and Hindustani, as well as Punjabi and Urdu. Other names are:
- Assamese – Dalim
- Bengali, Marathi – Dalimb
- Gujarati – Dalamb Dadam
- Kannada – Dalimbari
- Kashmiri – Daan
- Malayalam – Mathalam Pazham
- Oriya – Dalimba
- Sansrkit – Dadima
- Tamil – Mathalam Pazham
- Telugu – Dannima Pandu
This article contains one or more Amazon affiliate links. See full disclosure.