Pomegranate Molasses

Yesterday, I shared my favorite methods for seeding and juicing pomegranates. Today it’s all about pomegranate molasses, one of my favorite condiments! I hesitate to even call this a recipe, because it’s so simple… all you need are three ingredients and 60-80 minutes to make this gorgeous and flavorful sauce. Once you’ve whipped up a batch of pomegranate molasses, the possibilities are endless!

Pomegranate molasses (also known as pomegranate syrup) is made throughout the Middle East in countries like Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Traditionally the molasses is made by simply reducing pomegranate juice into a thickened syrup, relying on natural fruit sugars to thicken the sauce. In some areas, sugar is added as a preservative and to counteract the natural tartness of the pomegranate fruit; sugar also helps the syrup to reduce and thicken more quickly. Lemon juice is often added as an acidic preservative to increase shelf life. The amount of sugar varies by region; for example, Iranian (Persian) pomegranate syrup tends to be sweeter than the Lebanese variety.

I add both sugar and lemon to my pomegranate molasses. This is because it is a concentrated, powerful syrup that I only use sparingly, so when I do make it I count on having a bottle in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 weeks. Adding the sugar and lemon juice keeps the molasses fresh longer and gives it a nice sweet/tart balance. I like my molasses on the sweeter side.

For a tarter pomegranate molasses with a shorter shelf life, you can simply reduce pomegranate juice on its own with no added ingredients. It will take longer to reduce, and you’ll need to watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t start to burn. There’s a thin line between thickened and burned… and if you thicken it too much, you’ll end up with a solid piece of syrup when it cools. Which is not cool. Know what I mean?

You can use pomegranate molasses in a variety of ways. I like to use it as a topping for desserts like ice cream, as a meat marinade, in sauces, and in salad dressings. You can get creative with it, the flavor is really rich and unique. Bonus– it’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free and pareve!

Later this month I’ll be sharing a Rosh Hashanah recipe with pomegranate molasses. Stay tuned!

Pomegranate Molasses

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pure 100% pomegranate juice (bottled or fresh)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 - 80 Minutes
Servings: About 1 cup of pomegranate molasses
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Pour pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan.
  • Heat up over medium until the sauce begins to simmer lightly. Stir to dissolve sugar. Allow the liquid to simmer very lightly for 60-80 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, till the liquid reduces by 75% to about 1 cup of molasses.
  • The liquid is ready when it has a light syrupy consistency and coats the back of a spoon. Don't let it thicken too much, or it will harden when it cools.
  • Remove from heat. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools. If you're unsure about the consistency, measure the reduce liquid-- it should be between 1 and 1 1/4 cups of syrup. If it's a lot more liquid than that, continue reducing.
  • After the syrup cools completely, store it in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
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Category: Condiments, Gluten Free, In the Kitchen, Nut Free, Pareve, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah, Sauces, Slide Show, Tu B'Shevat, Vegan, Vegetarian

Comments (52)Post a Comment

  1. Jo says:

    You can also make the wonderful Persian dish Khoresh Feesanjaan, which is chicken in a pomeegranate molasses and crushed walnut sauce-so different and so delicious :) and kosher
    copy and paste the link below to view recipe:

    link to allrecipes.com

  2. Kelly says:

    Pomegranate molasses? How delightful. I love the inventiveness and versatility of this recipe. Brilliant.

  3. I’ll bet having a bottle of the molasses in the fridge all the time would be very dangerous! I can imagine putting it on anything and everything. Like you, I think I would want mine a little on the sweeter side. Thanks so much for all the helpful information and the recipe.

  4. Pomegranite is my favorite juice and the idea of making it into a syrup for ice cream sounds wonderful. You have definitely inspired me to pick up some juice my next visit to the grocers. Thanks for posting this!

  5. What wonderful tips, Tori! I never really got into the pomegranate phase. We even grew them in our backyard when I was little. Guess I should try it again :-)

  6. Hannah says:

    Genius! I love pomegranate molasses and have only had the imported bottled type. Like so many things, I’m sure homemade is amazing and I will be trying it! Thank you for sharing your recipe, especially in time for Rosh Hashanah. :)

  7. I had no idea I could make pomegranate molasses myself! I can’t wait to try, thanks!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Ohhhh, the thought of this delicious molasses on some ice cream makes me want to go out and prepare this right now!

  9. Joy says:

    This is a great recipe.

  10. Nice easy recipe, thank you. I used to always pick up the Persian kind at the store, it’s nice to be able to make it home too.

  11. Dawn says:

    I bet that would be a lovely flavoring for milk. I send my kids to school with their own milk in a thermos, since our schools no longer provide whole milk, and that’s what our pediatrician recommends. Sometimes I add a little homemade vanilla or chocolate syrup, just a touch for flavor. Pomegranate would be a new twist… Thanks for the pom resources, I’ve never known what to do with them, other than munch the seeds!

  12. Kita says:

    I’ve never had pomegranate molasses but wow does it sound great! I never even knew such a thing existed!

  13. Simply Life says:

    oh wow! I’m sure this flavor is just incredible!

  14. Ilke says:

    I use this a lot in Turkish cooking as well, makes a good salad dressing, bulgur dressing and goes well with the meat!
    Now you made me want something sweet and tangy :)

  15. One of my favorite syrups, so delicious!

  16. Kim Bee says:

    I think I need to hit costco and see if they have them in crates yet. I am loving all these posts. I love this little wonder sphere but rarely use them as I would make such a mess. Now that I know how to do it with less fuss I can see myself using them all the time. You have such useful tips Tori. Keep them coming.

  17. Miriam Kresh says:

    I’d love to post your pomegranate molasses recipe – may I have your permission? With full credit, of course.

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  20. Joe Zeff says:

    Pomegranate Molasses is indeed a wonderful thing. Among other things I use it as a glaze for Cornish game hens. However, I have an easier way to get it: I buy it already made in a market catering to a middle-eastern community. And, the brand I buy doesn’t need refrigeration; it holds up just fine in the pantry.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Joe! You can indeed buy a bottle, but as I mentioned in the blog my homemade recipe tends to be slightly sweeter and richer than the bottled stuff, a flavor that I personally prefer. Also, many people don’t have access to Middle Eastern markets in their community, so this recipe allows them to make it at home with easily obtainable ingredients.

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  23. Sabrina says:

    I couldnt find the molasses in stores anywhere around me so I’m thankful for your post…I’ve been wanting fattoush for a while. Have you tried replacing the sugar with honey or agave?

  24. Alex says:

    This of of those items that is time consuming to make but the home made one is well worth it. My grandma and older aunts used to make this during fall each year when pomegranates where in season. The Persian version ( Robeh anaar) is more of a thin paste. The way they make it to cook the seeds until soft and then they run it though a sive with a back of a spoon. The pulp goes through and the seeds stay behind. It should be dark purple vs the brown goo you get in a bottle. Keeps in the freezer for a long time. Also, its not too acidic like the bottled product so not much sugar is needed when cooking with it.

  25. dan says:

    Pomegranates were put on this earth for fesenjan.

    Oh, and the fruit tastes pretty good, too. :-)

    • Bro baba says:

      This is very true. fesenjan, a persian dish from north of Iran, made with sour pomegranate paste, crushed into paste walnuts, and chicken or duck meat is best tasting stew you can have. If you need the recipe, look online.

  26. Sharonshiatsu says:

    I learned how to make pomagrant molasses when it was part of the salad dresssing for a Meditteranean Bread Salad. I then used the leftovers for all kinds of things since it was so delish! Thanks for this since my recipe was just a juice reduction without the sugar and lemon. You’re the best Tori!

  27. Theresa says:

    Hi Tori,
    just saw you on New Day, love your recipes, but how do you get 4 cups of Juice from Pomegranates? Hmmm I am stumped! How many would that take? Do you recommend a brand at the market or where to purchase 100% pomegranate juice?? Going to make this as a Roshoshana gift for my friend!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hey Theresa, so happy you caught the New Day segment! RE: pomegranate juice, there is an easy way to seed and juice pomegranates. Here is a post explaining the process:

      link to theshiksa.com

      You can also use any bottled 100% pomegranate juice (no sugar added), including Pom Wonderful or Trader Joe’s 100% pomegranate juice. Enjoy! I think it will make a terrific gift for your friend. :)

  28. CynthiaT says:

    Thank you! I’ve heard of this but couldn’t find it w/o a bunch of nasty preservatives at the market I checked out. I really wanted to try it. Now I can make it myself and try all sorts of new recipes!!

  29. Theresa says:

    Thank you for the helpful hints on seeding and juicing the pomegranate!!! :)

  30. Cara says:

    Is it my imagination or did you totally just rip off Alton brown’s episode on pomegranate? Wow.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Cara. You’ve posted this just before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time of year that is all about forgiveness in Judaism. So, as a convert to Judaism, I’m going to forgive you for assuming that I’ve “ripped off” a fellow cook. Pomegranate molasses has existed in the Middle East for centuries. I wouldn’t say anybody has a “monopoly” on the concept. That said, I’ve never seen Alton Brown’s pomegranate episode, but I just Googled his recipe out of curiosity. My recipe is different, with much more lemon juice and a bit more sugar. Every pomegranate molasses recipe is similar in that most contain 1-3 main ingredients– pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice. In fact, Claudia Roden introduced the concept of pomegranate syrup to Americans long before Alton did, and I doubt she considers herself “ripped off.” Simple dishes like this often have an ancient history, and are made by people throughout the world. It’s like saying somebody “ripped off” the concept for chocolate milk. Kind of a silly thought, no? :)

  31. vera says:

    what an easy way to make pomegranate molasses, just for the holiday. Thanks, Tori!
    Have a great holiday season! All the best to you and your family.
    And we all will wait for new recipes in the new year.

  32. renee says:

    I LOVE your blog!

    any suggestions for using the pomegranite molasses on a corned beef?

  33. Stef says:

    I just posted some pomegranate molasses cookies on my blog! I am new to the world of pomegranate molasses but it certainly is wonderful and it hadn’t occurred to me to make it myself. Awesome!

  34. Ruby Brown says:

    Thanks for the recipe for Pomegranite Syrup. I am new to the idea of how to use the pomegranate. It is a beautiful fruit with a long history, so I’m excited about learning how to use it.

  35. Cathy Blackbernn says:

    I loved your recipe. But, here in Trinidad, pomegranates are rarer than hens teeth. Sooo, having a plethora of passion fruit in the garden, I have just made passion fruit molasses. Of course, having never tasted the pomegranate version, I cannot compare them, but what has turned out I think has the potential to be as delicious and useful. At any rate, I am going to make souvlaki tomorrow with it in the recipe, and cross my fingers!

  36. Cathy Blackbernn says:

    My husband has just licked the passion fruit molasses pot clean ….

  37. Linda Jones says:

    This all feels delightful. But I have a question about the sugar. I tend to avoid refined sugars and artificial sweetners. May I use coconut sugar or aguave syrup?

    • Tori Avey says:

      I have never tried it with either, so I can’t say for sure, but I would think that coconut sugar might be a better substitute. I’m not sure agave will help it to thicken properly. It would require some experimentation. :)

  38. akhtar says:

    good but i want to make its syrup without using sugar so kindly tell me the alternate way

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Akhtar- the process would be the same, simply cook and reduce the juice (without sugar) until it thickens into a syrup. It may take longer and you won’t end up with quite as much molasses, but the process is identical.

  39. Deb says:

    Just made this delicious and versatile molasses. It tastes even better than it looks! I used limes as well as lemons and it added some complexity to it. LOVE IT!

  40. Donna says:

    Recently I have developed a desire to cook and eat using more Meditteranean recipes. In my search for pomagranate molasses I came upon your blog.
    I think it is great and look forward to trying some of your recipes.
    As a child in CA I recall trying to pull apart pomogranates and the resulting mess. Thank you for the great directions and wonderful photos of each step.

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