Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pomegranate & Pecan Pudding

Have I ever told you about the pomegranate one?
No? Well, sit back and I'll begin.

One afternoon I stopped for a quick lunch at a familiar salon du thé. I entered with two bag loads of groceries and my work bag having come from work. Suddenly one of the bags slipped and everything came tumbling out! I knelt down to salvage what I could but the naughty pomegranate had rolled under a bench. So I stretched my arm out willing it to go further, spread on the floor, when two genteel looking ladies (who lunch obviously) leaned over their tables, forks in mid-air, and enquired:  ‘Are you ok?’

‘Oui! Je cherche une grenade!' I answered (translated: Yes! I'm looking for a pomegranate).
I didn’t have time to register the look on the two ladies’ faces as I had almost wrapped my fingers around the blasted little thing. When I brought forth the pomegranate, the ladies began to laugh with relief.  It was only minutes later when I had settled down to order my lunch that it had hit me -La grenade!                    
I blushed.

Bright Red

Coincidentally that same week, the area where the tearoom is situated was being evacuated to remove a bomb from the Second World War found in somebody’s garden.

with just pomegranate seeds
 The recipe

This is a quick and simple pudding to prepare loosely based on the Indian sweet yoghurt Shrikand which uses saffron on top of the ingredients listed below. I love the tart flavour of Greek yoghurt and sometimes eat it with nothing but a spoonful of honey. You can substitute the rose water in this recipe for orange blossom and serve with clementines which are in season right now. I often serve my guests this yoghurt pudding especially if the main has involved fireworks. I find that after a crescendo of hot spices this pudding is a soothing finale.

 Serves 4- 6

1 Pomegranate
600g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp Rosewater
10 Cardamom pod seeds freshly ground to a fine powder
Icing sugar to taste
2 tsp of Pecan nuts roughly chopped

Pour the yoghurt in a large bowl. Add the rosewater, cardamom and sugar to taste. Cut the pomegranate in half; tap the back of each half (cut face down) over a bowl with a spoon to loosen the seeds. Stir the seeds into the yoghurt along with the pecan nuts- reserve a teaspoon each of the pomegranate seeds and nuts. Divide the yoghurt into serving cups or bowls. Garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds and nuts.
Does this look like a hand-grenade?
Warning: Really ripe pomegranates are very juicy and the red juice will stain clothes. Either wear an apron when cutting into one or black clothing to be on the safe side.

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