Pomegranate Part II: Āblamboo Persian Style
Last time, Felfeli and I showed you how to deseed a pomegranate in a simple Persian process of doon kardan that calls for a modicum of technique and a measure (more than a soupçon, smidgen less than too much) ) of patience.
For those souls entirely scornful (or bereft) of patience, or in any manner pressed for time, there’s another Persian technique (a quick and lighthearted one) of enjoying a pomegranate that is known as: āblamboo.
The āblamboo method is a good way to get the taste, juice and goodness of a pomegranate without any of the hassles of the peeling, cutting, deseeding, and chewing. I mean, who in the world has time to chew?
How does it work? Instructions and pictorial guide follows.
You’ll need: a (preferably cold just-out-of-the-fridge) pomegranate, a cutting board, a sharp knife, brute force.
Here’s how it works:
- Wash the pomegranate, dry it, and place it on a cutting board or a counter.
- Proceed to press and squeeze the everlasting life out of the pomegranate – literally crushing the seeds – but at the same time don’t overdo it or else it will puncture. (This: is a mindful balancing act. Not as perilous as the Man on Wire, but somewhat proximate.) Roll the pomegranate and continue pressing it on every side, every inch. Continue this press-roll-squish business until the pomegranate feels quite malleable in hands. (Tip: use the cushiony pads of your fingers and avoid digging in your nails.)
- At this point, a sensitive operation is called for. Rest pomegranate on a cutting board and with the tip of a sharp knife, poke a small (1/2″ approximately) and somewhat deep puncture in the skin. A good bit of red juice may flow out. Do not be alarmed but proceed IMMEDIATELY to the next step.
- Pick up the pomegranate, press your mouth to the opening, and while continuing to squeeze the pomegranate between palms, suck/drink the juice. (Basically you’ve turned the pomegranate into a “bottle” and the puncture you made, is the bottle’s opening.) Drink until you can’t get anymore juice out by pressing.
And this is how you get an āblamboo pomegranate. (You may now appreciate why in colloquial Farsi a person might say they are āblamboo when they are exhausted and drained of all life force.)
Felfeli had never seen it done before and he loved the āblamboo pomegranate. Most kids will probably similarly enjoy doing this – seeing as there is a good bit of fun exertion followed by the instant gratification of enjoying the wholesome, healthy and delicious pomegranate juice.
I personally would not endorse the technique on a regular basis – particularly with nice fresh pomegranates as it would be a bit wasteful – but I do appreciate the āblamboo once in awhile when too lethargic for doon kardan a pomegranate or when left with a pomegranate that is somewhat past its prime. I particularly relish it when needing a fun pick-me-up, as for whatever reason, the juice of an āblamboo anâr gives a super invigorating shot-in-the-arm boost. (Once upon a time it feels euphoric even. I’m not kidding – honestly.)
And there you have it. (The Cliff Notes Pictorial Guide to how deseed a pomegranate, as promised to the TLDR crowd in Part I, will be up on Friday.)
Felfeli takes his leave and waves a very fond goodbye. We do hope to persuade him to come back again sometime. Maybe to teach Rice 101?
Until next time, please go eat an anâr (filled with antioxidants) and khoda hafez.