Ramzan is observed for the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The month of fasting begins from the sighting of one crescent moon and continues till the next sighting. The rigourous fast, known as the Roza, starts from sunrise and ends when the sun sets.
It is important that the food you consume during Sehri, or the early morning meal before the fast begins, sustains you through the day. And Pomegranate tops the list. The fruit with its ruby-coloured edible seeds is an excellent fruit to be had during Ramzan.
Due to its year-long availability in India, pomegranate is preferred by many because of its taste and health benefits. Used in many Indian dishes as a crunchy and sweet addition, pomegranate adds a new dimension to a dish. Seen as a garnish or as a main ingredient in most Ramzan dishes, the benefits of pomegranate make it the preferred fruit during Ramzan.
Benefits of Eating Pomegranate:
Pomegranate has a higher amount of antioxidants compared to other fruits. The antioxidants can help in removing free radicals, preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation.
2. Vitamin C
One of the factors contributing to pomegranate juice benefits is Vitamin C. The juice of a single pomegranate can contain 40 per cent of your daily requirement of Vitamin C; Vitamin C is important for glowing skin and good immunity.
3. Blood pressure
One of the most important pomegranate health benefits include lowering systolic blood pressure. Daily intake of pomegranate juice may help in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
4. Heart diseases
Regular intake of pomegranate juice may improve blood flow and prevent the arteries from becoming stiff and thick by slowing down the build-up of cholesterol and growth of plaque in the arteries.
With nutrients like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, pomegranate juice can fight off infections. They are often advised by doctors to boost your immunity and body when one are feeling low.
Here are some well-loved suggestions for including pomegranate in your Ramzan menu.
Pomegranate drink with Pine nuts and Rosewater
During iftar, nourishing drinks are often served and there’s one drink that’s preferred by many. This thirst-quenching concoction consists of pomegranate juice, aromatic rose water and crunchy pine nuts. This drink has everything, from fragrance to texture and flavour to nutrition.
Soak pine nuts in for one hour or longer. Pour three tablespoons of pomegranate juice in a glass; add water and a teaspoon of rose water. Stir until they’re mixed. Add some pine nuts. Serve.
Chicken in Pomegranate Stew (Khoresh Fesenjan)
This delicacy is made with chicken, onions, walnuts and pomegranate juice, which is simmered to perfection. Served with saffron-infused basmati rice, this stew is thick and lip-smackingly delicious. What more does one need after a whole day of fasting?
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 gm chicken legs, cut up
1 white onion, thinly sliced
200 gm walnuts, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups of pomegranate juice
½ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add onions to the skillet, and cook till they become soft. Add the walnuts, salt, pomegranate juice, and cardamom. Bring to a boil and add the chicken. Now, reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer till the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Mix in sugar and adjust seasoning and cook till done.
And the main course is ready.
Don’t worry! We’re not going to cheat you off a dessert suggestion.
Spiced Pears with Pomegranate
Filled with everything healthy, this simple dessert is quite easy to make. It consists of sliced pears topped with pomegranate seeds. The fruits are then coated with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3 pears - peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds (optional)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Put the sliced pears and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice on the fruits to avoid discolouration. Mix the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small cup or bowl. Add the mixture into the fruit bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped almonds and some mint leaves.
Thanks to the benefits of pomegranate, and the creative ways in which it can be used in dishes, it’s the perfect fruit to help you fast during the month of Ramzan.
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