Homemade Pomegranate Molasses Recipe. Sweet, tangy, and made with just three simple ingredients, learn How to Make Pomegranate Molasses at home and enjoy this essential Middle Eastern ingredient in stews, dips, dressings, or drizzled over desserts.
What is pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses, traditionally made by simply reducing pomegranate juice into a thick syrup, is a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern recipes such as Muhammara and Fesenjan (Persian pomegranate and walnut stew). In some regions, sugar may be added to balance the tartness of the pomegranate juice and shorten the time it takes for the syrup to reduce and thicken. Fresh lemon juice may be added as an acidic preservative which helps increase the shelf life.
Pomegranate molasses ingredients
To make pomegranate molasses you will need the following,
- Pomegranate Juice – Anything other than fresh pomegranate juice will not work in this recipe. You may seed and juice your own pomegranates, or buy a big bottle of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice from the market (or the internet). Please don’t try to make this recipe with sweetened juice.
- Sugar – I added a half cup of granulated sugar. Just enough (in my opinion) to give a nice sweet to tart balance. If you prefer less sweet versus more sweet you may wish to add a little less.
- Lemon Juice – one lemon is all you’ll need. Fresh lemon juice will always taste better compared to anything that’s been concentrated, bottled, and preserved.
I chose to add both lemon juice and sugar to this particular recipe. Feel free to omit or reduce the overall sugar amount if desired.
How to make pomegranate molasses
To make this easy pomegranate molasses recipe simply,
Add ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the pomegranate juice, sugar, and fresh lemon juice to a wide and uncovered saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk well to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, maintaining a low and steady simmer.
Reduce. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugars from burning to the bottom of the pan, for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to approximately 1.5 cups and has reached a sticky, syrupy consistency.
Store. Transfer prepared pomegranate molasses in a clean jar with a tight-fitted lid. Allow pomegranate molasses to cool before refrigerating.
Pomegranate molasses substitute
There are several suggestions all over the internet for possible pomegranate molasses substitutes. I have not tried any of these personally,
- Honey and balsamic vinegar
- Tamarind paste with honey
- Tamarind paste cooked with dates
- Or buy it online!
Tips and Tricks
- Pomegranate molasses that is made with fresh pomegranate juice will have a brighter, more radiant red color when compared to pomegranate molasses made with store-bought juice (as I used in this recipe).
- You can overcook your pomegranate molasses. The consequence? A super thick substance that practically hardens once cooled. As you may imagine, a batch of molasses that is so hard you can’t scoop it from the jar makes it pretty hard to use. To avoid this, keep a close watch on your molasses, especially after 40 minutes or so and reduce heat as needed.
- For a slightly tarter pomegranate molasses, add less sugar. For a sweeter one, add more.
How to tell when your pomegranate molasses is done?
As a general rule in science and nature, liquids will be thinner or more watery when heated because the molecules are moving erratically, bumping into each other, and breaking bonds. When liquids begin to cool, however, the molecules calm down, move less, and start to form bonds which are key between a liquid and solid-state.
Of course, it’s much more complicated than this, but generally speaking…
When cooking pomegranate molasses you’ll have to determine its doneness from a heated state. This can be somewhat tricky (and also why it’s easy to burn your molasses), but easy to avoid by looking for the following,
- Keep an eye on the bubbles. The bubbles will start to look thicker, stickier, more viscous.
- Dip a spoon in there. Does it coat the spoon? That’s a good indication that it’s nearly done.
- From four cups of pomegranate juice, the yield should be somewhere between one and a quarter cups to one and a half cups.
Ways to use Pomegranate Molasses
Pomegranate molasses is surprisingly versatile and adds delicious flavor to a range of different recipes including dips, chicken, stews, and salad dressings.
Here are my top 5 ways to use this homemade pomegranate molasses recipe:
- Stirred into hearty meat stew. One of the most well-known uses for pomegranate molasses is Fesenjan, an Iranian stew made with ground walnuts, chicken (or lamb), and pomegranate paste. You may keep things simple and add a few tablespoons to any beef, lamb, or chicken stew.
- Added to salad dressings. Add pomegranate molasses in place of all the vinegar in your next vinegarette, or simply add a couple of teaspoons. Either way, it adds a nice, complex flavor, for example, this Ancient Grain and Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Mustard Dressing.
- Drinks and cocktails! It seems that everything has so much sugar these days. Just a few teaspoons of molasses will add a little sweet, tart, and beautiful ruby red color to your next cocktail or mocktail.
- Drizzled over roasted vegetables. Drizzle this stuff over all your favorite roasted vegetables including, Roasted Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, or Roasted Cauliflower.
- Glazes and Marinades. Add it to a marinade or brush directly onto your meat as it cooks. It adds the perfect amount of tart and sweet without overpowering the dish. For example, this Oven Roasted Citrus Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses Marinade.
For more sauce recipes check out,
- Chimichurri Recipe
- Enchilada Sauce
- Homemade Mole Sauce
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Garlic Butter Sauce
- 5 Ingredient Honey Mustard Sauce
If you try making this Pomegranate Molasses Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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How to Make Pomegranate Molasses
- 4 cups pomegranate juice (fresh or fresh bottled)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Add ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the pomegranate juice, sugar, and fresh lemon juice to a wide and uncovered saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk well to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, maintaining a low and steady simmer.
- Reduce. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugars from burning to the bottom of the pan, for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to approximately 1.5 cups and has reached a sticky, syrupy consistency.
- Store. Transfer prepared pomegranate molasses in a clean jar with a tight-fitted lid. Allow pomegranate molasses to cool before refrigerating.
- Pomegranate molasses may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-4 months.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)