Anardana refers to the dried and ground seeds of the pomegranate. The name anardana is a Persian portmanteau. Anar translates to pomegranate and dana means seed. Anardana goes by different names depending on where in India you find it. Indians who speak Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu all refer to dried and ground pomegranate seeds and anardana. Dadima is its Sanskrit name. Bengalis know it as Dalim.
The pomegranate tree comes from Iran and India. It is native to the Himalayas as well. In fact, it is the wild Himalayan pomegranate — called daru — that is used to make traditional anardana. Pomegranates were a staple food in Ancient Egypt and there is Egyptian art that reflects its status. From there, the cultivation of pomegranates spread throughout Central Asia and the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. The remains of pomegranates have been discovered in Bronze Age ruins in Jericho and in Cyprus.