Everything You Need To Know About Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a thick syrup with a dark grapey colour. As with many Persian ingredients, it’s most often used to enhance savoury dishes with fruity flavours. What makes pomegranate molasses that bit more exciting though is its tangy, almost citric, bite meaning that the flavours it introduces to dishes are more like the sweet-sourness of preserved lemons or even tamarind, rather than the fruity-sweetness of sultanas and prunes.

What’s the history behind pomegranates?

The pomegranate is an ancient fruit with a rich and chequered history. It’s native to Asia Minor, and crops up in Greek Mythology – it’s the food that broke Persephone the Goddess of Spring’s fast, forcing her back to Hades for the long winter months. Many also think that it was in fact the pomegranate, also known as a ‘punic apple’ which tempted Adam and Eve in Eden.

Many think it was the pomegranate, also known as a ‘punic apple’ which tempted Adam and Eve in Eden

The pomegranate is mentioned in the Qu’ran and the Torah, and whole fruits have even been found preserved in Ancient Egyptian burial chambers. The fruit was also traded along the Silk Route – still, one of the most prolific pomegranate orchards is in the Afghan city of Kandahar. Though now pomegranates are harvested all round the world, best suited to the dry climates of Arizona, the Mediterranean and the Maharashtra state of India.


How is pomegranate molasses made?

Pomegranate molasses is made from reducing fresh pomegranate juice which intensifies the fruit’s natural flavours. It’s not hard to make at home, but with the cost of shipping fresh pomegranate juice to the UK, it’s more cost-effective to buy it ready-reduced as a syrup. When scouring supermarket shelves for pomegranate molasses in the past, many may have mistakenly picked up a bottle of grenadine instead. But the pink bar syrup used to flavour cocktails is a very different ingredient, and is best kept to a Tequila Sunrise – as the sweet, sweet flavours aren’t suited to savoury cooking.

If you’ve got a little pomegranate molasses left over at home, or you’re nervous about committing to a bottle, then don’t worry – you’re not alone

Although pomegranate molasses is a versatile ingredient, just one little look in online cooking forums show that lots of people are at a loss as to what to do with the “leftover pomegranate molasses” in their pantry. So if you’ve got a little left over at home, or you’re nervous about committing to a bottle, then don’t worry – you’re not alone. Use it as an excuse to get experimental. The thick, fluid consistency of pomegranate molasses means that it can easily be incorporated into marinades, dressings, cake mixes and drinks. Here are some ideas.


Exciting recipes using pomegranate molasses

Pomegranate Molasses Ice Cream Recipe

Pomegranate Molasses Ice Cream Recipe

The tangy, citrus notes in pomegranate molasses balance the sweet creaminess of ice cream. When mixed with cream, the ice-cream gets caramel hues. Sprinkle on some extra pomegranate seeds for vibrant colour contrast and a crunchy pop. Try the recipe here! 

Tabbouleh Salad With Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Tabbouleh Salad With Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Tabbouleh is a traditional salad across the Middle East which is traditionally made mainly with herbs and a little bulgar wheat. We’ve added extra grains to make it more substantial, and a sticky pomegranate molasses dressing to add a sweet kick to the zingy salad. Full recipe available here.

Persian Fesenjan Stew Recipe

Persian Fesenjan Stew Recipe

This shredded chicken stew is the perfect sharing dish to serve as part of a meze. A walnut paste is made by combining crushed walnuts with chicken stock and pomegranate molasses. This gives the dish a richness and subtle tang. Click through to try the recipe yourself!

Maftoul, Carrot, Feta, Date & Mint Salad Recipe

Maftoul, Carrot, Feta, Date & Mint Salad Recipe

Maftoul - giant cous cous - is a wonderful base for adding vegetables, herbs and spices. Here we’ve added a balance of sweet, salty and tangy flavours to create a great all-round salad. A pomegranate molasses dressing (made by mixing molasses with olive oil and orange juice) adds a little sharpness to the soft grain. Try this delicious recipe now


What are the different pomegranate molasses I can buy?

Pomegranate molasses – or pomegranate syrup – has a fruity sweetness that's countered by a lovely, sharp tart flavour.


Pomegranate Molasses 300ml

This Middle Eastern storecupboard staple is also known as rob-e Anar or dibs rumman. This brand of pomegranate molasses combines concentrated natural pomegranate juice (70%) and sugar (30%) for a sweet syrup. Great for drizzling over salty cheese like halloumi and feta.


Mymoune Pure Pomegranate Molasses 250ml

Mymouné’s pomegranate molasses is made with 100% pure pomegranates. The pure, thick syrup can act as a sweet marinade for duck, or mixed with olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.


How have you used pomegranate molasses in your kitchen? Do you prefer sticking to traditional Middle Eastern recipes? Or have you enjoyed getting experimental?

If you enjoy Middle Eastern flavours, you've got to try Aleppo Pepper


10 comments

  • Also great on fresh tuna !

    Jane on

  • Yum! :-)

    nicola on

  • I am a self confessed pom molasses junkie. So much so that I even use it to make pulled chicken. Have a look here if you are curious http://comeconella.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/pom-molasses-pulled-chicken.html

    Mehrunnisa Yusuf on

  • Sounds great – pork ribs are also great like that.

    nicola on

  • i use pomegranate molasses as a marinade for chicken thighs. Just pour it over the skin, leave to marinate for a couple of hours and bake in the oven until sweet and sticky – YUM!

    Loraine Oliver on

  • Using it in spring rolls sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great ideas!

    nicola on

  • I use it in vietnamese fresh spring rolls (recipe from Ruth Watson) “Prawn cucumber and mint rice-paper parcels”
    It is also good as the souring agent in currys, replacing tamarind or amchoor
    I am going to try this which sounds delicious
    Roast pork belly with pomegranate molasses from Nigel Slater

    David on

  • Pomegranate Molasses makes a nice iced tea for the summer,also a nice addition to ice cream,cuts through vanilla like a samurai sword?

    michael on

  • I’m not a baker, but my first thought would be to whip it up into a frosting or icing. For example, mix pomegranate molasses with lemon juice and sugar to make a frosting for a pomegranate-lemon drizzle cake. Or try making it into a buttercream frosting or a jam. There are endless options when it comes to baking.

    Tope Alakiu-Marquis on

  • any ideas as to how to use pomegranate molasses in cakes?

    Bea on

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