How to Eat a Pomegranate: Persian Style! (Part Yek. That is: Part I)


When starting this blog, a little fellow (let’s call him Felfeli) graciously agreed to lend his charming presence to Fig & Quince on select occasions. In fact, he inaugurated our place-holder post. A good luck charm if there ever was one.

Despite being on the wan & sluggish side after a bout with a bad cold, Felfeli accepted the mission of demonstrating how to eat a pomegranate, 2 ways — Persian Style!! Jazz hands! — with aplomb. We sat about our task with measured vigor and somber panache. A boy, his dinosaurs, his aunt, a pair of pomegranates, and a couple of green tomatillos for good measure (because, why not, tomatillos are pretty, and they taste, oh my God, delicious, a revelation!)

In this, Part I of our anâr odyssey, Felfeli and I will cover the “doon kardan” deseeding technique; and will follow up with the irreverent fun-for-the-whole-family āblamboo style in Part II. [Note: There will be a goodly amount of words and an ungodly number of pix in these posts, so if you are one of those “just-the-facts-ma’am” folks or part of the TLDR crowd, wait for the Cliff Notes Pictorial Guide, coming your way on Friday.]

And now – let the Persian Style Pomegranate Magical Mystery World Tour commence in earnest.

    • You will need: a fresh pomegranate, a cutting board, a sharp paring knife, a big bowl, and you’ll probably want to wear an apron. (Dinosaurs: optional.)
    • Wash the pomegranate quite well. Wipe dry.

      • Place the pomegranate on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, cut off the top and bottom of the pomegranate.

During this time you may:

      • With your paring knife, delicately yet with force (it’s a poetic balance) score 1/2 inch crisscross indents into the top and bottom of the pomegranate.

      • Place a big bowl in a sink. Don your apron if you haven’t done so already.
      • Holding your pomegranate low inside the bowl, gently tug it apart in half by pulling at the indented scored seams. Take each half and (once again pulling at the scored seams) pull apart to halve again. Finally, take each quartered piece and pull back with your hands to persuade it to snap in half pieces. (You should now be left with about 8 pieces, plus some adventurous arils that may have jumped out of the membrane pockets. Also, don’t worry about staining your fingers, a cold rinse and it all comes off.)

  • Take a quartered piece, peel back the membranes, then start using your fingers to persuade the arils to dislodge. Pop them out! (Felfeli demos his mad aril-popping skills in this short vimeo.)

Gather yer anâr arils (picking out any stray bits and pieces of membrane or pulpy skin and discard) and put them in a nice fresh serving bowl.

Eat with either abandon or restraint but with relish for certain. Traditionally, in old-timey Iran, people would sprinkle golpar (ground angelica powder) over anâr seeds. I’m a fan of many culinary Persian traditions and rituals, but I have to admit, I am not terribly fond of the smell nor flavor of this spice, so I pass. Felfeli wasn’t a fan either. But give it a try and judge for yourself as most of these old-timey traditions usually have their roots in genius nutritional or digestive secrets.

So this is how you seed a pomegranate Persian style – a process called anâr doon kardan. It may look complicated but it’s quite simple really once you get the hang of it.

It does take a fair bit of patience but a pomegranate is such a gorgeous fruit and it tastes so good that surely to treat yourself to its goodness you can get in a zen frame of mind and enjoy the deseeding proess — right?

If not, good news, there is a lazy and fun way to enjoy a pomegranate – a patented Persian method enjoyed by young and old and one that is safe to say every kid will want to try – called anâr ‘eh āblamboo. Felfeli was delighted!

How does āblamboostyle pomegranate work, you ask? You’ll have to stay tuned for the juicy Part II coming you way a on Wednesday to find out.

Felfeli and I bid you a fond Khoda hafez till then.

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Comments (35)

  • apuginthekitchen 11 years ago Reply

    Love this post, Felfell is so cute!! He looks like he was a great help tackling that pomegranate. It’s such a messy job but your step by step tutorial is great! Love pom’s they are so delicious. Your photo’s are beautiful.

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Thank you Suzanne!! 🙂 Yeah, Felfeli really got into it. Specially the ablamboo part that is upcoming. I do hope the tutorial helps make the process a little less messy for you. I’m with you – I LOVE them can’t get enough of them. Wish some grew in your backyard! 😉

  • Darya 11 years ago Reply

    Wonderful post: such a fun read, and what a beautiful boy!

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    He’s a keeper! Thank you Darya joon for visiting. 🙂

  • mycookinglifebypatty 11 years ago Reply

    How cute this was! I liked the “play break” part because I take lots of play breaks. Wondering — how do you get the red juice stain off your cutting board?

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Play is an integral part of work. Just ask that guy in The Shining. Re stain: you know, I have a wood cutting board and the pomegranate stain washed rigt off after a couple of washes with a soapy sponge. It is not a perm stain – mercifully as that would have made pomegranate a perilous fruit indeed. So glad you enjoyed this. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about the beet!

    mycookinglifebypatty 11 years ago

    Haha! Ooookay. I’ll try your beet recipe when you give one.

  • Lizzy (Good Things) 11 years ago Reply

    Love it!!!

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Love this!

  • johnnysenough hepburn 11 years ago Reply

    What a charming post! Love the photos and instructions as I’ve never known how to do this. And your nephew is such a looker!

    johnnysenough hepburn 11 years ago Reply

    You don’t allow Pins?

    azita 11 years ago

    Thank you Johnny jaan! by Pins I take it you mean PInterest? I do allow pins that is I don’t not allow them that is I myself pin pictures from the blog to my board so don’t know why it’s not letting you do same … scratching head. But anyway: woot woot thanks for wanting to pin this, love t!

  • Fae's Twist & Tango 11 years ago Reply

    Thank you for a fun day with Felfeli! He is adorable. You are too, Azita! Looking forward to Part II, Anâr ‘eh āblamboo! (Just love it!) Fae.

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    akh anareh alamboo! so happy to read you had fun reading, I love that. it was very entertaining working with Felfeli for me as well

  • Yvonne Rafi 11 years ago Reply

    1. The beyond compare pomegranate. Yay, Anar! 2. Photographic inclusion of the amazing tomatillo. Who else but you? 3. An unbelievably cute felfelee.Talk about khordanee!

    It just doesn’t get better than this. (At least that’s what I think every time until…your next blog.)

    Sent from my iPhone. Rafi

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Thank you! I love hearing from you. And “khordanee” is the perfect word. You Farsi is … kheily khoob! <3

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Also, as you say: yay to tomatillo! I’d never tasted one before and wow are they good. And it has such a pretty interior. Leave it to you to appreciate the inclusion of tomatillos!

  • arefadib 11 years ago Reply

    Felfeli jan is very handsome and the post is amazing!

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    mersi Mehrdad jan, this qualifies as mossighi to my ears

  • The Charmed Cupcake 11 years ago Reply

    Thanks for this as I too never really knew how to cut 1, so it put me off buying them. Now I know and will def be buying more of them now as I do like eating them 🙂
    and how CUTE is your nephew, love his curls!!

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    He’s a cutie, I have to agree. As to pomegranates are SO GOOD for you. So definitely do it. Tomorrow I’m posting another technique – that one is super easy. Thank you for visiting. I’m charmed, I’m sure! 😉

  • leduesorelle 11 years ago Reply

    Well done! I don’t have dinosaurs to assist, but think I can find a chicken or cow to fill in 😉

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    ha ha, those will do. Or just draw a face on a potato for company 😉 Thank you leduesorelle!

  • I adore pomegranates but no matter what you do with them, they are definitely fiddly. And no matter how careful I am, I usually end up with red spots all over the walls. Worth the mess though!

    azita 11 years ago Reply

    Hi Christine! Thank you for visiting! Have to agree that no matter what, there will be red spots. Love the word you used: “fiddly.” But the good news is there’s no need to get all Lady Macbett: a wipe – and off it comes.

  • […] 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 […]

  • petit4chocolatier 11 years ago Reply

    So very cute! What a delightful change of pace 🙂
    Love the pomegranates!

  • […] then, go and doon or āblamboo a pomegranate and let it race through your bloodstream with its delicious […]

  • andria78 11 years ago Reply

    I just ate one 4 the first time , I got it from a grocer here in Florida, they gave it 2 me in a papier bag, I just cut it across with a plastic knife and the sections peel out easy, lots of red seeds, sweet but not bitter kinda like cranberry flavor but no bitter. The rind is bitter take a bite and toss it. Took me an hour 2 eat it all. I like it pretty much, most fruit trees I found are lemon . Interesting.

    Fig & Quince 11 years ago Reply

    Your first pomegranate? How fun! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing the story!

  • atkokosplace 11 years ago Reply

    When I think of pomegranate I think of being a child again. How wonderful it was to read your post on this and to feature it with Felfeli; how delightful! 😀

    Fig & Quince 11 years ago Reply

    thank you so much! I love your blog bu the way

    atkokosplace 11 years ago

    I appreciate you saying so! You’ve made my day 😉

  • Liz 10 years ago Reply

    What a lovely and humorous post. I enjoyed reading. Best wishes to Felfell

  • […] If this post has given you a yen for enjoying a pomegranate, check out: How to Eat a Pomegranate, Persian Style!; or: how to ab lamboo squeeze a pomegranate Persian Style (it’s fun!), or, check out the […]

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