Friday, 22 February 2013

Pomegranates and Tandoor Naan

Because there's nothing like a cervical exam, or report thereof, to work up an appetite. And because, to paraphrase the charming Sarah at Fallopian Groove, it's my blog and I'll cook if I want to. Beside, Blogger Stats have spoken and (gasp!) it seems you are all more interested in my fish tacos than my cervix anyway can never go wrong with a recipe. Even on a blog about the awfulness that is infertility and miscarriage. I'm nothing if not well-rounded.

So, last night I attended a work function where people brought an over-abundance of food, and I ended up leaving with an armload of freshly baked but untouched Lebanese bread like these ones:

Amazing when fresh from the oven like these were

If you're lucky enough to have an awesome Middle Eastern grocery of delights nearby as we do, then you may even be able to find something similar. Pita bread or ready-made Indian naan bread to serve with this salad would also work nicely though. I'm hesitant to even call this a recipe, because really you just chuck everything into a bowl and stir. But if it inspires a little weekend creativity, then so much the better.

Pomegranates are at the very last of their growing season now, and I plan to make the most of what's left. I'm addicted to pomegranates. I guess most people in the west think of them as a beautiful if slightly odd super fruit, but when I lived in the Middle East I was introduced to them in a whole plethora of previously unexpected places; rice pilau, chicken stew, salsa for BBQ'd meat, sauce for stuffed vine leaves. The mouthwatering list goes on... One of my loveliest memories is of warm nights in the bazaar - that uniquely  smokey quality to the air from all the open grills, the brightly lit stalls - when, after long days hiding from the blazing sun people would spill out onto the streets. Especially during Ramadan, these late evenings always had a festive air about them, and the refreshment of choice was often freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (which is consumed there with a healthy sprinkling of salt to counter the sweet/sour). So these weighty, voluptuous, fairytale fruits hold equally weighty and wonderful connotations for me.

I had a pomegranate lying around last night, so dinner became the tandoor-baked bread, some hummous, and this pomegranate salad.


Pomegranate Salad
  • Seeds of one large pomegranate
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Large handful of parsley, chopped
  • Large handful of mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Three green onions, thinly sliced (finely chopped red onion would work equally well)
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don't like too spicy)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sumac or dried lime powder also make wonderful seasonings in this dish, if you can get your hands on them
Like I said, just toss it all into a bowl and stir. We had ours with the bread and hummous, but this goes equally well as a salsa with roast or grilled meats, and is awesome with dry fried halloumi or feta.

Now I'm off to drink my vile-tasting-but-hopefully-helpful Chinese medicinal tea. Well, I guess you have to have some bitter along with the sweet, don't you? Have a lovely weekend people!

The finished product

11 comments:

  1. Mmm that sounds delicious! But where would you get pomegranate molasses????

    Here from ICLW

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    1. Are you in the US? I had trouble finding it there, but if you can get to a Middle Eastern grocery they should have it. In the UK, the bigger and posher supermarkets stock it.
      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  2. Yum! I may have to turn on my oven while it's still chilly outside and make some pitas to go with this!

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  3. This looks great, I'm pinning it for a rainy day. For the record, I never mind a fertility post either. So sorry for the loss of your baby boy. Even though I've been through it myself, I often find that there are no words to convey how I feel when I hear/meet another mother who has lost her child. Thanks for stopping by my blog and Happy ICLW.

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  4. There really are no words, but just the presence of others who care, and who understand, goes a long way in filling that silence. Thanks for stopping by and following.

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  5. I had a friend in high school that ate a pomegranate what seemed like every single day! I have to admit, they scare me a little! lol only because I have no idea how to go about getting the seeds out. I know, it's dumb. This recipe sounds delicious though!

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    Replies
    1. If you do a kind of corkscrew cut in the top where the stem is, the whole fruit will pull apart easily, then you can just slam the peel with a wooden spoon and the seeds fall out. I'd eat one every day too if I could keep 'em in stock. They really are a super food, and so versatile!

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  6. That recipe looks delicious! Excited to have found your blog through ICLW. Happy Monday!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessah! I'm so happy to have made so many new blog friends through ICLW...Now, I'm just off to visit your space.

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