Pomegranate molasses is a thick syrup made by reducing pomegranate juice and sugar. It's used throughout the Middle East and is an important ingredient in Persian cuisine, where it's prized for its distinctive sweet and tart flavor notes. Middle Eastern grocers and some kosher supermarkets carry pomegranate molasses (Sadaf is one brand with kosher supervision), but depending on where you live, it can be hard to find. Fortunately, it's not hard to make. Thanks to California pomegranate growers, pomegranate juice is now widely available in the US, and all you need to DIY your own jar of pomegranate molasses is the juice, a little sugar, a squeeze of lemon, and about an hour.
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed and strained of pulp)
In a medium, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan, set over medium-high heat, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Lower the heat, making sure to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring periodically, until the mixture is syrupy, coats the back of a spoon, and reduces to between 1 and 1 1/4 cups. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then transfer to a clean glass jar. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For slightly thinner, more astringent molasses, use 1/3 cup sugar; for a thicker, sweeter syrup, use 1/2 cup. Note that if you use less sugar, it will take a bit longer to reduce and thicken the juice mixture.
Keep an eye on the pot, and adjust the heat if necessary to keep the liquid at a gentle simmer. If you don't see little bubbles breaking the surface, the molasses will take longer to reduce.
It's helpful to have a liquid measuring cup on hand to see if the molasses has reduced enough. As you approach the 1-hour simmering mark, carefully pour the molasses into the measuring cup. If you've got more than 1 1/4 cups of liquid, you'll need to keep reducing the mixture.
How to Use Pomegranate Molasses
- Drizzle over roasted vegetables
- Stir into yogurt
- Spoon over ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Whisk into marinades and salad dressings
- Use as a mixer for cocktails and mocktails
- Top with plain or flavored seltzer or sparkling water for DIY sodas
- Finish greens sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and garlic with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses
- Mix into stews, such as Persian eggplant and tomato khoresh