Pomegranate molasses: Adding an exotic punch to traditional dishes


Pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate syrup) is a fragrant type of molasses produced by boiling pomegranate juice into a thick treacle. It is often used in Middle Eastern cooking, since it is prized for bringing a robust sourness to dishes, especially those involving duck or chicken. Although pomegranate molasses is not commonly found on supermarket shelves, it is readily available to buy online in most countries, and more health food stores are starting to sell it as well. As with most molasses, pomegranate molasses lasts indefinitely and is not prone to spoiling.

How to make pomegranate molasses

It’s quite easy and inexpensive to make pomegranate molasses, and the procedure is not dissimilar from making sorghum syrup or other syrup-like products. To do so, you will need the following ingredients: Four cups of pomegranate juice (organic is best, but not essential), half a cup of sugar (or, if you prefer, a healthier substitute such as xylitol), and a quarter cup of lemon juice (again, organic is best).

Then follow these simple instructions:

  • Place all the above ingredients into a large saucepan and heat them on medium high until the sugar is dissolved and the lemon juice has started to simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to maintain the juice’s simmer, and maintain the simmering until juice has transformed into a syrup, which might take up to an hour. If the syrup tastes a little sour, you can sweeten it by adding more sugar.
  • Pour the syrup into a suitable container, such as a glass jar, and allow it to cool. Store it in a cool place or, better yet, the fridge. And there you have it – homemade pomegranate molasses!

Health benefits

An average serving of pomegranate molasses (8 fl.oz.) contains approximately:

  • 150 calories.
  • No sodium, fat, iron, or dietary fiber.
  • 13% RDA of potassium.
  • 11% RDA of total carbohydrates.
  • Less than 2% RDA of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Clearly, compared to other types of molasses such as blackstrap molasses, pomegranate molasses is not especially nutritious. Nonetheless, it is still an interesting ingredient to use for meat dishes, and it can even be diluted and used on sorbets. It is not a common ingredient in the Western kitchen, so you’re likely to surprise many guests if you choose to use it – especially if you make it yourself, which ensures that the molasses is extra fresh and tasty!

Michael Ravensthorpe
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.