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In Praise of a Pakistani Pomegranate

Posted on November 7, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food
26 Comments
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Owais Mughal

Among many things that Pakistan has been blessed with, the quality of fruit is an important one. Especially worth mentioning is the Pakistani pomegranate. It is hard to find a rival of it in size, flavor and color. I’ve collected few photos of pomegranates and its juice for sale in Pakistan here. Take a look and be a part of this famous urdu idiom: ‘ek anaar, sau beemaar’ (one pomegranate can make a hundred people devoted to it)



I chose following two photos because of their color. The yearning of savouring the taste of an ice cold pomegranate as shown in these photo is hard to resist. Those who have tasted a pomegranate like such will join me in saying that ‘ek baar khaya hai, aur dobara khaane ki hawwis hai’ ( have eaten once and yearning again)

It is said that best variety of pomegranate in Pakistan is called Kandahari anaar, and is imported from our Western neighbor. It is also grown in Pakistan – mostly in Balochistan. In 2007, Pakistan exported more than 4500 tonnes of Kandahari anaar from Pakistan. On the origin on pomegranate tree itself, it is said that Pomegranate came to Pakistan from Iran, where it was a native plant specie.

The photo to the right is from Tower Market Road, Hyderabad. Note the size of pomegranates in this photo. These are one jumbo pomegranates.

Pomegranate is not only a part of Pakistan’s important fruit species, but over the years it has also influenced on art, literature, language and poetry. When a person has healthy beautiful cheeks, they are compared to a pomegranate.

The photo to the left is from Rawalpindi and it shows an old timer choosing a pomegranate at the vendor thela(cart).

Flower bud of a pomegrante is called ‘anar kali’ and one of the most famous movie character coming out of India-Pakistan’s was named Anarkali.

The dried seeds of pomegranate called ‘anar daana’ are extensively used across Pakistan to bring a bit of sour taste to the food.

And since I am writing this post without putting much thought to the order of essay and only concentrating on something in praise of a Pakistani anaar therefore the next thought that comes to my mind in support of a Pakistani anaar is how every Urdu book starts with the first alphabet as ‘alif se anaar’. Look to the image to the right. bus ab aur kia likhooN anaar ki tareef meiN

Quetta ka anaar:

Here is atleast one sher in Urdu which makes use of ‘anaar’. Enjoy this ghazal by Anwar Masood and keep an ear open for the sher with the words ‘Quetta ka anaar’. This ghazal as most of our readers may already know is a parody of a famous ghazal by Momin Khan Momin.

26 Comments on “In Praise of a Pakistani Pomegranate”

  1. Riaz Haq says:
    November 7th, 2009 1:11 am

    Good post!

    In spite of South Asia’s growing horticulture industry, the intake of fruits and vegetables in India and Pakistan is surprisingly low at less than 100 grams per day per capita, according to the World Health Organization. This figure is far lower than the 300 grams of fruits and vegetables per person in Australia, EU and the US.

    http://southasiainvestor.blogspot.com/2009/09/context-for-pakistans-sugar-crisis.html

  2. November 7th, 2009 2:02 am

    How long did it take you to put this post together and how do you find so much time?

  3. Babar Khan says:
    November 7th, 2009 5:20 am

    Anar se hai piyar
    Gallan(cheeks) kare laal
    :-D

  4. Jamal Shah says:
    November 7th, 2009 6:01 am

    Pakistan spends the least amount on education. What a shame

    Pakistan spends the least amount on education

  5. Qureshi says:
    November 7th, 2009 10:51 am

    What a wonderful post

    something so simple yet so much to think about

    thanks for this post, yaar

  6. Sheheryar says:
    November 7th, 2009 12:00 pm

    Worth spending my 7 minutes on this article! I came across this site today and it’s really heartening to see a Pakistani site of such literary stature. And I like the way you write. You take special care of your audience and writes interesting topics in simple language. This one is particularly admirable – no one could have ever thought to pen such ideas down. Keep on writing and enlightening us. Thanks!

    May Allah shower his countless blessings upon you

  7. Azeema says:
    November 7th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Thanks for this beautiful post!

  8. Siraj says:
    November 7th, 2009 2:30 pm

    “When a person has healthy beautiful cheeks, they are compared to a pomegranate.”

    Need I say more.

  9. Natasha says:
    November 7th, 2009 3:25 pm

    yummy.delicious.scrumptious.

    The mouthwatering pictures are a treat for the eye.Good post.

  10. Fauzia says:
    November 7th, 2009 5:22 pm

    Great post

    pakistaniat zindabad

  11. SJH says:
    November 7th, 2009 7:29 pm

    I’ve heard many renditions of Momin’s ghazal which is referenced at the end of this article but the film clip of the version here is by far the most enjoyable!

  12. ShahidnUSA says:
    November 7th, 2009 8:20 pm

    Sorry to burst your bubble but there is nothing pretty or healthy about red cheeks. Another chinese myth.
    I had an allergy reaction once from a medicine and my “face” cheeks were beet red.

    What a fine post! I almost forgotten about pomegranit (I changed the spelling, too many alphabits)
    Anyway it used be an elite drink for those who dont want drink an alcohol and since it was served in a wine glass, they dont want to look “out of the norm”

    Caution: I may have made it up all the above
    I am not an elite, I may be a delete.

  13. Kasim Mahmood says:
    November 7th, 2009 10:05 pm

    Good read and great selection of pictures showing the quality of our fruit.

  14. Adnan Khan says:
    November 8th, 2009 12:23 am

    Hi,

    Great post. But I must point out, that ‘Aik anar sau beemar’ does not mean a hundred devotees to the fruit. It actually depicts the scarcity of something, like one piece of fruit, and a hundred people wanting it…

  15. Owais Mughal says:
    November 8th, 2009 12:31 am

    @Adnan Khan. I agree with your translation of ek anaar, sau beemaar. Thanks for pointing it out.

  16. Deeda-e-Beena says:
    November 8th, 2009 1:11 am

    Owais:
    Great Post and very timely too as the Anaar Season is just starting.
    In a recent visit to the US I found Super Markets selling bottled Anaar Juice. Something recent I think. Probably they are growing them in California that has a large Iranian population and the climate is right.
    A new fad after Youghart!

  17. yousuf says:
    November 8th, 2009 8:42 am

    I dont think these faboulous Pommegranates are a Pakistani product, ans are most probaly from Kandhar, provnce of afghanistan as their name uggests ‘ KLandhari anar’. Howeever i mabe be mistaken and same might be a produce of Quetta valley. Any comments?

  18. November 8th, 2009 11:50 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “best part of winter :D”
    - “isb main to 60/kg hain/…..:D”
    - “I like it I like it………!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Really a true pomegranate carrying a true colour of Love”
    - “the second picture with pomegranates on an ice slab is deliciously lovely.”
    - “Pomegranate juice with a little black pepper and salt. Yummmm!”
    - “i love pomegranete with salt & black pepper yum yum”
    - “Pakistani fruit is top of the pops in the world”
    - “When we were @Euro to find a true pomegranate, U need to wait for ages. In Fruits & Vegetables -Yeah we are like blessed forever in Pak. U only knw it whn u dont hav it, Check out market of Gulf or Euro to compare with our fruits. U won’t find a True Mango or a True pomegranate in All Europe..Cheers . Txs for SharinG, AH!!”
    - “not Europe but almost: look for Anar in Turkey! Overwhelming Anar stands there, sour and sweet ones as well as fresh pressed juices at almost every corner if you go around March/April”
    - “they look tempting but i prefer the Afghani ones as they have that sour taste that i love.”
    - “O kia anaar bhi afghani hotay hain? :P i dint know veges had bounds too.”

  19. maria says:
    November 8th, 2009 7:31 pm

    well these are kandhari anar, because the species originated or was native to Kandahar. That does not mean our kandahari anar do not come from quetta valley.
    However another common pomegranate type I saw across Pakistan was the whitish one … not bad.
    Our fruits and vegetables are definitely something special. I have never come across a ‘sufed khobani’ or the ‘sundarkhani angoor’ in Europe or America at all. Not to mention that the mangoes you find over here are abysmal compared to those from Pakistan.

  20. Benawa says:
    November 8th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Another mouth-watering post! Thanks Owais!
    Being a life-long “Anar” votary, I’ve learned to live with the
    shrivelled variety that is avilable locally, a far cry from
    those luscious red pyramids pictured in your article.

    “So anars” and not a single one for me! Alas!

    (I am glad that somebody else has already posted the correct
    translation of “Ek Anar, i.e., “one Pome and one hundred
    patients.”)

    I only need to point out that “Anarkali,” is not a movie char-
    acter, but the title character in Imtiaz Ali Taj’s famous
    play of the same name, which was based upon the legends
    about Prince Saleem(who later became the Emperor Jehangir)’s supposed star-crossed love-affair with a
    dancing girl Anar Kali(which might not have been her real
    name but rather a title which, according to the legend,
    Emperor Akbar had bestowed upon her.)

    And yes, Pomegranate and the Blue Berry juice is the latest
    American fad among the health-conscious crowd.

    Haq Bhahi, for the first time I have some doubts about
    your statistics. Are you sure? My impression is that Pakistanis habitually eat more fruit than Americans.
    Pakistanis have a very good habit of eating fruit as dessert
    It ‘d be very hard for an average American to wrap his/her
    mind around that concept! You see the acute sugar shortage
    in Pakistan might actually be a blessing in disguise.

  21. Owais Mughal says:
    November 8th, 2009 9:40 pm

    Benawa. you are correct in mentioning ‘anarkali’ as a character from Imtiaz Ali Taj’s drama. Thanks

  22. anonymous says:
    November 8th, 2009 10:41 pm

    Are not mangoes the king and pomegranates the queen of fruits?

  23. November 9th, 2009 6:51 am

    I like this post. If we begin to start just viewing the positive side life would become so much more easy and comfortable. This can be done if the media begins to help the people and just reflect a lot of good news like this on the television all the time. Pakistan has such beautiful things to watch other then blood bath!! The media has failed completely over these years to serve the people of Pakistan. There is no depth in their news. News is one phone call away these days without any BASED facts or authenticity.

  24. hira says:
    November 10th, 2009 1:08 am

    Gr8 post. Good to appreciate minor things of pakistan like other counties. Reallly Reallly gud

  25. Watan Aziz says:
    November 6th, 2010 10:48 pm

    ‘P’akistan

    ‘P’omegranate.

    Smile!

  26. March 13th, 2011 7:22 pm

    Owais,

    Just one word for you …. Chaa gaye tussi

    Love the way you write about our Pomegranate …. I also have a shrub of Kandhari Anaar in my house….

    Keep writing more about our Pakistan … Sharin it on my FB profile THnx

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