Friday, February 08, 2008

When Pomegranate is a Leafy Green

We foodies often do strange things for our blogs. We have had our moments of the crazy, the ridiculous and the farcical – this has got to be one such moment.

I have a recipe for a pomegranate leaf kadhi – I found it in Shyamala Kallianpur’s book ‘Cooking With Green Leafy Vegetables’.

When it came round to me to host AFAM-Pomegranate, started by Maheswari of Beyond the Usual, I blithely announced the fruit without much idea of what recipe(s) I would come up with and went off to Japan, but the presence of a pomegranate plant/bush in my compound waved me on reassuringly.

Late last night, at a loose end, I leafed through the book, and found out this kadhi required coconut. Which I don’t stock. And I’d gotten into one of those moods where I had to get it over with.

I had long ago decided the plucking of the leaves would be a covert operation under the cover of night – don’t want any funny looks from the neighbours, nor questions – but I’d forgotten to pluck the leaves, and I’d changed out of my work clothes. I changed back into my day clothes, went down with the white cup you see in the second photo and skulked under the pomegranate plant/bush trying to pick half a cup of leaves.

Problem! The recipe asked for young and tender leaves - and the plant/bush mostly had leaves that various plant-dependent creatures had feasted on. It was also located in a dark corner of the building, so yours truly couldn’t see the young and tender ones too well if they existed at all - but she was on a roll - so she quickly got herself as many unblemished ones as she could find and hightailed it back to her apartment.

She substituted the coconut with a handful of cashewnuts and a cup of coconut milk, and faltered several more times during the making of the recipe, but will not bore you with those details. Suffice it to say that it tastes like sol kadhi, bringing back the memories of a trip to Goa almost a year ago!

The pomegranate leaves aid digestion and is an ideal remedy for a bout of indigestion, says the author.

Here’s how I bumbled through the recipe:

½ cup tender leaves of pomegranate (chopped) – I didn’t chop them.

1 cup fresh grated coconut (I used a handful of cashews, soaked, and 200 ml of coconut milk)

A lime-sized ball of tamarind (I soaked it a little ahead)

2 flakes of garlic

4-5 red chillies (roasted)

Salt, to taste


1 tspn ghee (clarified butter)

8 flakes of garlic, crushed


Cook the leaves in a little water.

Grind together cashews, tamarind, garlic and chillies to a smooth paste.

Add the leaves to the paste and grind again.

Put this paste in a pan, add some water to give it a pouring consistency.

Add salt and bring to a boil, stirring well. Do not allow it to rise and boil over.

To temper, heat the ghee, add the crushed garlic, sauté and add to the kadhi. Cover the pan immediately. Serve hot with rice.

And the pomegranate arils you see in the cup – that is artistic licence, you don’t really need to do that. I was lucky they even showed up – because they initially sank to the bottom of the kadhi when I was setting up the shot!

Googling led me to this bit of info unexpectedly - now let's find a way to use this minus the cashews and the coconut milk!


  1. that's unique. havent heard of using pomegranate leaves before! and the curry still looks pink! awesome! did u get the bowl from japan? :D

  2. The most innovative entry with pomegranate award goes to... the hostess... clap clap... :)
    Never seen these leaves before... How lucky are you, find an unusual recipe in a book, all you need to do is to change and go down and collect it straight from the source!!
    Love the picture by the that cup a recent acquisition?

  3. Hey..All I am reminded of pomegranate is when i had a bun in my oven :D.had to gulp quite a few of those juices..and my made sure I ate the leaves....and the unripe pomegranate fruits. Bitter to the core....My G'mom still has one a day!!!

    Coming to your post....unuusual recipe! Great japanese bowl..

  4. Sra, that's so different...I love the colour of your dish and also in what it is contained :-)

  5. beauty!!! loved this ususual dish but dont thik i can get hold of pom leaves here. my ajji used to make a dish using dried pomegranate peels. i'll ask amma and see if i can make this for ur event.

  6. wow..just like you to go and hunt down something like that!..btw beautiful looking cup!

  7. So pretty in pink! And the things we do for our art! ; )

  8. I tried to get that cookbook but it's not available here yet.
    Beautiful dish, very pretty bowl. I could get Pom juice here, made one dish, will post next week. Still have to type in, son is down with cold and fever. Enjoy your weekend sra!:)

  9. thats a new recipe sra and beautiful pic too

  10. Wowww..this is so unique recipe. I have never used pomegranate leaves. I usually have big stocks of coconut but donno where to find these leaves :(. Good one Sra.

  11. Wow, this is really beautiful. I love pomegranate (and anything pink)...and it's good for me too!

  12. no way anaar leaves are edible,I have huge anaar tree in my backyard, now I know what to do with those greens. Pic chala bagundi me container me Japan trip shopping a:)

  13. A very unique recipe and a very interesting read!!

    Beautiful pictures..

  14. So unique! We have a few neighbors with pom trees - might have to sneak out in the dark. :D

  15. Wow beautiful color. Interesting recipe. But I dont knw where do i get the pom leaf.
    Loved your mug.

  16. Such an unusual dish.
    The bowl/ cup looks as good as the kadhi.

  17. Wow, this is an interesting recipe, never heard of anything being made out of pomegranate leaves of all things :)Looks good!

  18. Nags, the pink came from the red chillies, diluted by the coconut milk. Yeah, that's a cup from Japan!
    Sig, put that way it seems pretty simple and easy but I had to brave pendulous larvae and creepy crawlies for this - yes this is one of a set of three cups I got from Japan.
    Rachel, yeah, I know the bitter pom taste.
    Sunita, thanks for both.
    Oh Sia, do ask your mom, start drying your peels in the oven, if need be! I've never heard of such a dish!
    Srivalli, your comment has me smiling - how much we bloggers know of each other and what to expect from each other even tho' we've never met!
    Susan, you bet - I'm always thinking of what I can do for the blog!
    Asha, thanks, the cookbook is 11 years old, I checked the publication date for another recipe I'd posted from it last year
    Sagari, thanks.
    Shilpa, yeah, maybe your mom can smuggle some in next time she visits. :)
    Hi, not Martha, welcome, and thanks.
    Sreelu, go for it! Chiguru anta koseyandi - that's what the book wanted, young and tender leaves. Yes, that cup is from Japan - one of the v few things I had time to buy!
    Sugarcraft, thanks a lot!
    ET, another reason for my covertness was because I didn't want anything to say I was 'stealing' common property, tho' it was only half a cup of ignored leaves! You should see the politics that goes on here sometimes - ridiculous - I don't face any because I go to work. Touch wood!
    Vanamala, wish I could help. Thanks
    Cooker, yeah, I didn't use it very deliberately but that was the closest to a pink bowl that I had to offset the colour!
    Namratha, thank you!

  19. Something very unique and new to me !! Would love to try it if it tastes likes Sol Kadhi, but then, no leaves near my apartment :)..Lucky you!!!

  20. now all i gotta do is plant a pom tree ;D..and said by many before..that cup is really nice and what a unique dish!!

  21. I've never seen the leaves before. This is a most fascinating recipe, and that's a stunning photo.

  22. That's one pretty looking kadhi in a very pretty bowl! I didn't know that pomegranate leaves were edible!

  23. Fantastic photo!!!
    And pomegranate leaves? I would not have thought...
    Very interesting. Everyday I learn more about my edible world...

  24. Woww did not know pomegranate leaves are edible.. and so many good properties too. Awesome post !

  25. hi sra,
    i have visited your blog so many many times.i enjoy reading your posts.really liked your japan snaps.and the dish with pomegranate leaves???unusual.....
    sra thanx for taking time to post your many recipes.i love reading through these blogs and sometimes cooking up something.many blogs are stopping access to their page. it's a big loss for readers to suddenly find themselves blocked out of a site they used to enjoy visiting. if u plan on that, please invite me too !!
    happy cookin & bloggin from many like me, without a food blog, just enjoying the reading on our way.good luck,

  26. great entry..first time here..nice blog dear...

  27. Hi Sia: Wow, you are so innovative. I have this childhood sceptism of pomegranate else I would have participated. Still looking forward to the round-up..

  28. I wish I had been in time with my pomegranates and greens. Sra, you never fail to blow me away with your innovation! :)

  29. Maya, the leaves have a non-intrusive presence ;) so go ahead and make the kadhi anyway!
    Rajitha, yeah, that book has quite a few stunners!
    Susan, in fact, the recipe quoted young leaves, I couldn't find any. Thanks!
    Anita, thank you. It was quite a revelation when I noticed it in the book.
    Kate, thanks! Am off in search of the next edible leaf ... :)
    Revathi, thanks. We used to have one other such leaf (plant) in a pot at home for years, never knew it was edible till I moved away.
    Farah, thank you for the nice comment. I don't intend to make this blog private - still enjoying all the attention, you see ;) - and thank you for the good wishes. I notice you've made a start at your own food blog, have fun!
    Dhivya, welcome, and thank you.
    Pragyan, well, the innovation was just to substitute coconut with cashew, the recipe isn't mine. You don't like pomegranate? It can be a disappointment once in a while, I suppose.
    Linda, thanks, re: innovation - explained above. There's still time, Linda, more than 10 days in fact, for the deadline. Try to participate if you can!

  30. Who knew pomegranate leaves are edible. Love the rose hue in the pic.

  31. This is a priceless innovation, Sra! Thanks a ton for sharing this! This is really super-exciting! Makes me feel like going to India and trying this out :).


  32. Wow! Pomegranate leaves soup! Never heard of it before. Very creative. loved it.
    Thanks for the link.

  33. anybody know if pomegranate leaves have anyside effects if eaten alone? dried and mixed with water and drink it everyday?

  34. does pomegranate leaves have side effects if eaten alone with water?

  35. just now came across your blog while searching for shyamala,s cookbook..Can you tell me where can i get this book?Your above recipe is something new..havent tried this,will do so.


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