Pomegranate Molasses: Reduction of Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate molasses is a kind of syrup, which is sweet, thick and sticky. It is made by boiling down fresh pomegranate juice with sugar and lemon juice, until most of the water has evaporated. It has a tart and fruity flavor and its color is dark red or near to brown. Pomegranate molasses is different from sweet red pomegranate grenadine syrup, which is usually added to cocktails to enhance the color and flavor of the drinks.
Pomegranate molasses is a fundamental and popular flavoring ingredient used in cooking Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is especially good to be used as a marinade (for poultry, lamb, and pork), added in sauces and dips or as a sweetener for beverages. The examples of dishes that have pomegranate molasses as main ingredient are Persian fesenjan (a thick sweet and sour chicken-walnut stew) and Lebanese muhammara (pomegranate-red pepper-walnut dip). You can always create your own recipes using pomegranate molasses. An easy and simple example is by mixing 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to create a dipping sauce. You can serve it as bread dipper or use as a marinade for roasting.
Readymade pomegranate molasses can easily be found in Middle Eastern markets or grocery stores. If you are not able to locate any Middle Eastern grocery stores at your place, you can get it from various online stores. If you donít like the readymade, you can always prepare your own pomegranate molasses at your kitchen using some fresh pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon too.
Here is a simple recipe for pomegranate molasses. The whole cooking process will take about an hour. The ingredients needed are 4 cups (945 ml) of pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of lemon juice and 1/2 cup (115 g) of sugar. Firstly, pour pomegranate juice and sugar into a saucepan and cook on medium heat until all sugar has dissolved. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour until the mixture reduced to 1 cup and reached a syrupy consistency. Finally, add in the lemon juice. If lemon juice is boiled together with the juice, it can turn bitter. Therefore, adding it at the end of the cooking process is a safer alternative.
For a purer homemade pomegranate molasses, just boil down fresh pomegranate juice without added sugar to a consistency like maple syrup and add the lemon zest at the end of the cooking process. If you want to have a spicier pomegranate molasses, you can also add in spices like cinnamon and star anise. Homemade pomegranate molasses can be kept refrigerated for months. However, there will be a change in the color due to oxidation process.