It’s currently fall in Tunisia, which means it is pomegranate season. Pomegranate trees are widely spread in Tunisia, especially in the south like Sfax and Gabes. Many households have a tree, if not two, in their backyards. When these round, beautiful fruits hit the market, some Tunisians change their breakfast to include pomegranate seeds. What better way than “Zamit bil Romen”?
Zamit, also called Zomitta, is a blend of grains and seeds that are finely ground. This mixture is stored in large jars and used in a variety of ways. The main ingredient of Zamit is whole barley grains. Seeds are added depending on each person’s preference, but the most common seeds used are fennel, fenugreek, and coriander.
Zamit is then mixed with water, olive oil, and sugar to form a paste. This paste can be formed into small balls or eaten with a spoon.
For a healthier option, you can remove the sugar and use honey instead, and some just use the sweetness of fruits. The main fruits that go perfectly with Zammit are pomegranate seeds, figs, melon, and grapes.
You can pretty much say this traditional breakfast is truly breakfast for champions. Both pomegranates and barley have amazing health benefits.
Barley is an excellent source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps you feel full longer because it forms a gel-like substance in the gut, whereas insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and improves intestinal movement which in turn prevents constipation.
Pomegranates are high in anti-oxidants, vitamin C, K, folate, and potassium. Many studies have shown that these fruits can reduce inflammation in the body, as well as high blood pressure. They can be eaten plain, with zamit, in salads, or smoothies. The possibilities are endless. Make sure you grab a couple next time you go to the market.
PS: wear gloves when you are deseeding the pomegranates, they can make your nail beds a little brown.
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
- 1 large pomegranate
- 4 tbsp Zamit
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp homey
- Splash of orange blossom water
- Wash and cut the top and bottom of the pomegranate. Then, cut the fruit into quarters.
- Remove the seeds and place in a large bowl. Add the zamit powder, the olive oil, the honey (optional), and the orange blossom water. Mix well until all the pomegranate seeds are well coated, and the zamit is evenly distributed.
- Spoon into smaller bowls, and serve with breakfast.
This article is part of the #TasteTunisia initiative launched by Carthage Magazine. In search of Tunisian cuisine, through a series of articles/videos, Carthage Magazine offers a window to the Tunisian food, recipes and how they are prepared.
The Taste Tunisia initiative is supported by Carthage Magazine and led by international registered dietitians-nutritionists from Tunisia, making it the ultimate initiative that celebrates and promotes Tunisian cuisine.
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