Pomegranate

Unsung Ingredient: Pomegranate Molasses

October  2, 2012

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today we're discussing how to use up that bottle of pomegranate molasses.

Pomegranate Molasses

Have you ever brought home a bottle of pomegranate molasses to make a particular recipe, and then left the bottle lingering in your pantry, unsure of what else to do with it? Or have you seen a bottle on the grocery store shelf, felt intimidated, and avoided it?  

We're here to encourage you to make the most of this unsung ingredient. If you're looking for new ways to use the mostly-full bottle in your kitchen, or if you're just curious about a new ingredient, we've got you covered. 

Pomegranate Molasses

First thing's first: What exactly is it? 

Pomegranate molasses is a syrup of boiled pomegranate juice, most commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has an intense sweet-and-sour flavor that is often compared to balsamic, and like balsamic, a little goes a long way. And as you'll see, pomegranate molasses can be used in as many ways you can imagine. 

Pomegranate Molasses Soda

Drink it up: We stirred some into a glass of sparkling water for a bright and refreshing soda. We're sure it can be used in all sorts of boozy drinks that just haven't been invented yet, so get creative and start experimenting.

Pomegranate Molasses

Get traditional: 

Fesenjoon is an Iranian stew of ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, dried plums and chicken, served over rice. Our Assistant Editor Nozlee Samadzadeh says this is the most popular use of pomegranate molasses in Iranian cooking and, after testing the recipe her mother -- and Food52 community member cookingProf -- shared with us, we can see why. Comforting and complex, it's a perfect cold-weather meal.

Mouhamara, a dip of red bell peppers, ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses, deserves a spot alongside hummus and baba ghanoush on your next meze platter. The sweetness of this dip nicely counters the garlicky saltiness of the others. We're partial to Paula Wolfert's recipe.  

Pomegranate Roasted Carrots
Pair these carrots with fesenjoon and you've got a dinner we'd join you for. 

Roast with it: Melissa Clark suggests roasting carrots with a pomegranate glaze, and we're crazy about the idea. But don't stop there! Think of all the roasted vegetables that could benefit from a little tangy sweetness. We're imagining cauliflower and parsnips, but the possibilities are endless. 

Mix it with meat: Pomegranate molasses is a great complement for smoky rich flavors -- grilled meats come to mind. Brush it onto chicken or steak before grilling or roasting. Want to pair it with pork? You can always glaze a ham with it. 

Salad

Give your vinegar a break: Mix some olive oil with pomegranate molasses for a dead-simple new salad dressing. If you're looking for a slightly more doctored dressing, check out this arugula and pear salad.

Add depth to your dessert: Yes, pomegranate molasses goes well with savory foods, but what about dessert? How about using it in a cake? (Save us a piece, if you can.) We also like the idea of pouring it over cheesecake or custard. 

How do you like to put pomegranate molasses to use? 

35 Comments

Wendy D. March 1, 2018
I first used pomegranate molasses in a Bobby Flay barbecued turkey recipe. I could tell it would go great with dark chocolate and I made a dark chocolate truffle with it. A GOOD couveture dark chocolate, heavy cream and pomegranate molasses for filling then milk chocolate on the outside. You could use a really good quality white chocolate, I'm just not a big fan of white chocolate; not really chocolate, cocoa butter and vanilla, which is why some are great and others are just sweet.
 
judy November 11, 2017
I have an abundance of organic mulberry juice. I make a reduction of this and use it as a glaze, in a wonderful cake, and as a syrup for pancakes blended with maple syrup. Delish all around!
 
Carolyn C. March 31, 2014
Now I have other uses for my bottle of Pom. Molasses! Cannot wait to try some of these recipes. My carrots are still young in the garden buy I will roast some with the molasses when ICan
 
Layla C. January 8, 2014
As someone who once made gingerbread with pomegranate molasses instead of blackstrap molasses, be careful how much you ingest as pomegranate can act as a laxative.
 
lauren H. March 29, 2013
Just finished my Red Wine and Port Reduction Sauce with 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses and served it with crispy duck and pureed parsnips and a good glass of red wine! Divine! Has anyone poured it over meat and baked it? Does it burn easily due to high sugar content? I would imagine it's best to use it the last 10 minutes.??<br />www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com
 
Stef H. March 27, 2013
You can use pomegranate molasses in baking as well! I just posted a recipe for pomegranate molasses ginger cookies on my blog: http://adventuresoftinygirl.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/crispy-chewy-pomegranate-molasses-ginger-cookies/<br />I was a bit out of ideas for the time being after cranking out that recipe though, so I am so glad I found this page--I would hate to see the bottle waste away in my pantry.
 
jwlucas November 24, 2012
I recently bought grape molasses from a Lebanese market. Use the same way?
 
Marnely November 24, 2012
I made an easy dessert with pom and chocolate! http://honestcooking.com/2012/11/13/chocolate-pomegranate-cups-recipe-dessert/
 
zahavah October 4, 2012
not sure if my previous comment went through...on the off-change that there was a delay in posting, I'll refrain from writing a dupe, but check out the tomato tarte tatin with pomegranate and mint that I posted a few months ago. Works great with the grape tomatoes that are currently the only decent tomatoes in the market these days!
 
zahavah October 4, 2012
I've been making Melissa Clark's pom-roasted carrots since I read the book. They caramelize gorgeously. Thinking of developing a pomegranate caramel myself! I also use it for lamb, brisket, and an amazing tomato tarte tatin. And I haven't even told you about my pomegranate-dark chocolate-walnut biscotti (I pretend they're "antioxidant). I'm a little pomegranate syrup obsessed these days!
 
DC D. October 3, 2012
i stir a small amount in pimm's cups. delicious!
 
Fairmount_market October 3, 2012
Pomegranate molasses is a key ingredient in kisir, a Turkish bulgar salad. i've also used it in a version made with wheat berries.
 
AntoniaJames October 2, 2012
Pomegranate molasses + Manzilla or other off-dry sherry + tamari + red wine vinegar stirred into black bean soup where the only other ingredients (beside a light vegetable stock) are onions and garlic, and a garnish of pumpkin seeds. Been meaning to post that recipe now that the we're officially into fall . . . . ;o)
 
Layla C. January 8, 2014
What is tamari?
 
Mary H. April 10, 2018
Tamari is simply dark soy sauce.
 
Valhalla October 2, 2012
I love pomegranate molasses, and I love Persian food. As a vegetarian, I can sometimes find it difficult to find adaptations of some Persian dishes. The chicken Fesenjoon sent me scampering to the internets to find a suitable substitution (tofu just doesn't seem right). I happened upon this recipe which uses butternut squash--bingo! <br />http://roeandstuff.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/khoresht-e-fesenjan-veggie-style/ <br />
 
searchlight October 2, 2012
Pomegranate molasses goes very well in mixed bourbon drinks - I make very tasty Old Fashioneds with it.
 
Randi October 6, 2012
Sounds delish. Do you skip any traditional OF ingredients?
 
Randi October 6, 2012
Sounds delish. Do you skip any traditional OF ingredients?
 
Kristy M. October 2, 2012
All of these ideas sound great!
 
HalfPint October 2, 2012
I drizzle pomegranate molasses on bacon-wrapped dates. Stole the idea from a catered party at work.
 
PistachioDoughnut October 2, 2012
I forgot to add that the rice in the above pic looks so perfectly done..i loved it..
 
Nozlee S. October 2, 2012
I'm flattered -- I'm no expert rice maker, despite being Iranian!
 
PistachioDoughnut October 2, 2012
I like it on top of pancakes..seriously...and another way I have always used it in mouhamara dip and then used the dip as a sauce for pasta...and finally into ricotta crostini with a drizzle of molasses
 
Panfusine October 2, 2012
I prefer using it in place of tamarind concentrate (when the recipe calls for it, similar consistency, ball park range of tartness with that bonus of that tinge of sweet). <br /> <br />Add a bit of Balsamic vinegar to make a hacked version of faux balsamic reduction!
 
Nozlee S. October 2, 2012
My mom does the same thing with balsamic vinegar!
 
Panfusine October 2, 2012
given its unique flavor, you'd never think that its a snap to make at home.. Its almost as much a routine as making ghee at home . I've never bought a bottle from the store..