Pomegranate & Walnut Parfait
Merry Christmas Folks
Food traditions are an integral part of festivals around the globe and this Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Parfait is inspired by the American Parfait but uses local ingredients to suit local palates. Like Santa is different too depending on your area of residence, isn’t it? On the first day of winter i.e the winter solstice, between December 21 and 22, a night-time celebration is observed in Iran. It is usually called Shab-e-Yalda, or Shab-e-Chelle. Consequently, if the pomegranate is deep red it is supposed to be a sign of good luck. Pomegranate, watermelon and nuts are munched on during this night. Additionally, eating nuts on Yalda is said to lead to prosperity and so I had a handful.
You might indulge in mince pies, while I would dig into Gajjar ka Halwa for instance in this part of the world. Depending on where you were born and grew up, and where you live now, the seasonal dishes that adorn your table may be sweet, savoury, sweet and sour or a little bit of sugar and a little bit of spice and all that is nice. Do check out my other Christmas Recipes Kid Friendly Recipes, Christmas Fruit Skewers, Pineapple Creme Caramel Recipe.
Food is a great unifying factor and my favourite part about any festivities is food as it symbolises family and togetherness. The Christmas season is especially enjoyable as there are all kinds of delicious little goodies that you normally don’t eat all year long.
Firstly, this dish has many names like plum pudding, ‘pud’ or Christmas pudding and this dessert is an essential part of Christmas tradition in England, Ireland and some parts of the US. Regardless of its name, plum pudding doesn’t truly comprise of plums. In the Pre-Victorian era, raisins were referred to as ‘plums’ and because dried fruits are the main part of this pudding, it has earned its name.
Living in a small city in South India, I have never had access to most of the western ingredients required for exotic recipes. But times are changing and we are becoming a global village. Even remote places now stock up on cakes and plum puddings.
Persian Pomegranate Parfait
Keeping up with the Christmas Cheer, I made this creamy, crunchy, crumbly, scrunchy Pomegranate and Walnut Parfait, shared by my friend, Rohinni. The recipe is Persian but am sure it is inspired by the American Parfait and has used Pomegranate instead of the cherries used there. Persians refer to them as Yalda nuts and they could be almonds or pistachios but I used Walnuts as I have a really wonderful stash of walnuts from Kashmir.
So, this is how recipes change and take different shapes and flavours when each one of us improvises with local ingredients. Instead of whipped cream, I used Greek yoghurt which is healthier and easier to use.
My mom would rarely get a tin of condensed milk and she would let me lick it off…what a treat that was. I am still crazy about condensed milk but now eat it with diligence. For this pomegranate parfait, I have used plain yogurt and condensed milk. Pre-sweetened yogurt does not give the same taste. The combination has a very silky and creamy texture that really goes well with the crunchy crackers and walnuts.
I love Oreos and I used them as they are not as crunchy as other crackers and the texture blends well with the smooth yoghurt.
Recipe for Pomegranate and Walnut Parfait
2 cups Greek yoghurt or plain hung curd
5 tbsps. Condensed milk
8 Oreo Biscuits
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup pomegranate pearls
Powdered sugar if necessary
Firstly, take the Oreo biscuits and remove the cream layer with a knife.
Crush the Oreos in a pestle or in a mixer.
Take the Greek yoghurt in a bowl and add the condensed milk to it. Blend both together till creamy consistency.
Check for the sweetness and if you want it sweeter then add powdered sugar to the yoghurt mix.
Chop the walnuts or just pound them coarsely.
Take two mason jars or ice-cream glasses.
Layer the bottom with the powdered Oreo Mixture.
Press it down with a spoon.
Now spoon the yoghurt
Sprinkle the walnuts over the yoghurt.
Now repeat the layers once again.
Sprinkle the pomegranate pearls on top with
Finally, sink an Oreo into each glass for an extra punch to this easy and satiny smooth Parfait with crunchy walnuts and chocolaty Oreos.
It is a very flexible dessert. You can use cherries or strawberries.
You can use whipped cream instead of Greek yoghurt.
Any cookies of your choice
Even almonds instead of walnuts.