Let's learn how to make pomegranate molasses, also known as pomegranate syrup. It is incredibly easy to make this trendy Middle Eastern sauce at home. Completely free of colorants, added sugars, and preservatives. It does take some time, but it isn’t very labor intensive, making it the perfect natural, flavoring ingredient.
Now that we have prepared a complete guide explaining what pomegranate molasses is, it is time to show you how to make it at home. After trying it once, you will want to drizzle it over any salad or stew you make.
Pomegranate syrup is also called pomegranate paste or pomegranate sauce. It is a staple in our kitchen and we use it really often. A spicy ezme salad, known as acili ezme, without pomegranate molasses is no way the same as the real thing which has a good amount of this unique ingredient.
Similarly, what makes a good Turkish bulgur salad kisir is the use of pomegranate syrup in the recipe.
This molasses definitely gives several Middle Eastern dishes that extra oomph and gives another flavor impact.
What Is Needed To Make Pomegranate Syrup?
The only thing you need to make pomegranate molasses at home is pomegranate juice. You can either juice the pomegranates yourself at home or buy bottled pomegranate juice. Make sure it is pure pomegranate juice if you prefer to use store-bought. Pom is a recommended brand. If you find, you can use it.
We prefer homemade fresh pomegranate juice at home as we want to pick the pomegranates we buy. We try to find the tart ones. So we buy whole pomegranates, de-seed their arils, get the juice out of them and then turn it into this molasses.
You don't need sugar or lemon juice to get the right consistency when making this molasses. It is simply reducing pomegranate juice into a thickened syrup by letting it simmer for 2-3 hours.
The homemade pomegranate molasses recipe you will find below is how it is made in the villages of Turkey. People in the south have large yards of pomegranates and they make this thick syrup in large batches using this method.
With or Without Sugar?
Traditionally, pomegranate molasses is made without added sugar. It’s a sour condiment that is used in a similar way to lemon juice. So the real pomegranate syrup is supposed to be tart and the tangiest pomegranates are used when producing it.
However, it is not the same in all the countries where this pomegranate sauce is commonly used. Sugar is added in Persian and Lebanese cuisines mostly to balance the sour flavor. If you want to add a little sweetness, add ½ cup of sugar when following this recipe before simmering the juice.
Also, it thickens faster when you add sugar and you have more syrup as a result than you would without sugar. That's why most of the pomegranate molasses brands contain sugar and this keeps their price lower.
How To Make
Today we look at how to make pomegranate molasses in a couple of easy steps. This recipe is free of additives and preservatives. It has a delicious sour and slightly sweet flavor that is surprisingly versatile when paired with different ingredients.
Take out the seeds of pomegranates
Cut open the pomegranate. Slice the pomegranate into two pieces, width-wise.
Hold the pomegranate half tightly and face the cut side down. Use a wooden spoon to firmly whack the top. This will "shake" the seeds and will make them fall into your bowl. If you don't tap hard enough, the arils won't separate from the membranes.
De-seed and clean all of the halves. Repeat the process to remove all of the seeds from their rind. Remove any white membranes that get stuck on the seeds. You can pour water on the seeds and those white membrane pieces will float. Discard them completely.
Make the pomegranate juice
Put the pomegranate arils (seeds) into a food processor or a high blender and pulse for 15 seconds. You might need to work in small batches depending on your food processor.
Place a fine-mesh strainer on a bowl and strain the juice through it by pressing on the purée with a spoon. Discard the remaining white seeds.
Make the pomegranate molasses
Pour the juice into a deep saucepan. If you use store-bought Pom juice, pour it directly into the pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Discard any foam that forms on the surface using a spoon.
Make a pomegranate reduction. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low. Watch it when boiling, first it gets a lovely pinky color but it’s not thick enough (after about 2 hours).
Keep simmering until the consistency thickens into a syrup and more than half of the liquid is gone (it evaporates). Adjust the heat as needed. It should be simmering, not boiling.
You will see that pink color will turn into brown as it simmers. Make sure to stir it occasionally to prevent it from getting caramelized.
You can understand that it reaches the right consistency when it starts looking syrupy, not watery. When you see it covers the back of a spoon, it’s done. It is very much like jam making.
Allow it to cool and store in jars or containers.
- You can buy pure pomegranate juice instead of making your own from the seeds. It shouldn’t contain any sweeteners.
- The amount of pomegranate juice you use can vary, and it won't change the steps we've laid out. It will just affect the final amount of pomegranate molasses. The more juice you use, the more molasses you will get.
- Even though the amount of pomegranate molasses sauce you get in the end sounds little, remember that you only use a little bit at a time. This means it lasts really long. On average, you’ll only use a tablespoon at a time.
- You can make the pomegranate juice in a food processor or blender. Just don't pulse it too much. This will blend the white membranes and impart their bitter flavor into the juice. Try to use as many clean seeds (arils) as you can.
- Do not cook the pomegranate molasses on high heat to speed up the process. The syrup will burn. Let it reduce slowly over medium-low heat.
- Pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern cuisine doesn’t include any sugar. It is used just like lemon juice with a unique flavor. So we don’t use any sugar in this recipe.
- If you want your molasses sweeter, combine ½ cup sugar and 5 cups pomegranate juice in the saucepan and cook together. Keep in mind that it will thicken faster when you add sugar. Your sauce will be ready after about 1 and ½ hours.
How To Store
You can keep your homemade pomegranate molasses in a clean jar for more than a year. Keep it in your pantry at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You don’t need to keep it in the refrigerator, it doesn’t go bad.
Just keep in mind that your sauce might get even thicker when it is refrigerated. You can bring it to its normal consistency if you let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
You will need about 1 tablespoon when using it in a recipe. So your molasses will last really long.
Traditionally, pomegranate molasses is mostly used as a salad dressing. You can drizzle it over any green salad like arugula fig salad. We do love it in Turkish bean salad and black eyed pea salad too.
Although it is originally a salad dressing ingredient, pomegranate syrup is not limited to it. You can use it in almost any recipe you would use balsamic vinegar. Use it in chicken or meat marinades, as a glaze on roasted vegetables or fish, drizzle over your stews or soups to give them a tangy touch. It is great on hummus dips too.
If you make the sweetened version by adding sugar, you can even drizzle it on your desserts, or yogurt breakfast bowls. Also, you can get creative and use it in mocktails or cocktails. You might want to see Bobby Flay's cocktail recipe.
Can I Substitute Regular Molasses For Pomegranate Molasses?
Although it is called molasses, pomegranate molasses is more sour than sweet. As we mentioned above, you can make it with or without sugar. Even the sugar added version is not as sweet as regular molasses. So it won't be a good idea to use it as a substitute.
If you want ideas about what to use to replace pomegranate molasses, our list of best alternatives to pomegranate molasses will help you.
It normally keeps well for up to a year without spoiling. The molasses in a jar might spoil only when it is somehow exposed to water or other foods.
Yes, these are two different names of the same product. It is also called pomegranate paste or pomegranate sauce.
Recipes Using Pomegranate Molasses
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Pomegranate Molasses Recipe
Make your own sour pomegranate molasses with only one ingredients: Fresh pomegranate juice.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 and ¼ cup
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Preserving
- Cuisine: Turkish
10 large pomegranates, about 5 cups pomegranate juice (please read note 1)
If you use store-bought pomegranate juice, go directly to step 7.
Take out the seeds of pomegranates:
Cut the pomegranates width-wise into two.
Take half of the pomegranate, place it in your hand, cut side down. Your fingers should be loose and apart. Place your hand over a large mixing bowl. Now firmly tap several times on the top of the pomegranate with a sturdy wooden spoon. And don’t do it gently. You will see the pomegranate arils release and drop into the bowl between your fingers.
Repeat this with all the pomegranate halves.
If you see any white membrane among the pomegranate seeds in the bowl, remove it. You can pour water on the seeds and those white membrane pieces will float. Discard them completely.
Make pomegranate juice:
Put the pomegranate arils (seeds) into a food processor or a high blender and pulse for 15 seconds. You might need to work in small batches depending on your food processor. (Please read note 2)
Place a fine-mesh strainer on a bowl and strain the juice through it by pressing on the purée with a spoon. Discard the remaining white seeds.
Make pomegranate molasses:
Pour the pomegranate juice into a deep saucepan.
Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, occasionally discarding the foams on the surface with a slotted spoon.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low. You will first see it gets a lovely pinky color but it’s not thick enough (after about 2 hours).
Keep simmering until the consistency thickens into a syrup and more than half of the juice is gone (it evaporates). Adjust the heat as needed. It should be simmering during the whole process, not boiling.
You will see that the pink color will turn into brown as it simmers. Make sure to stir it occasionally to prevent it from getting caramelized. You can understand that it reaches the right consistency when it starts looking syrupy, not watery. We cook it for 3 hours in total.
Allow it to cool and store in jars or containers for up to a year. You will get about 1 cup molasses.
- You can buy pure pomegranate juice and use it instead if you want a shortcut. Make sure it doesn’t have any sweeteners. The amount of pomegranate juice doesn’t really matter, you follow exactly the same steps. Just the amount of the molasses you get would vary. The more juice you use, the more molasses you get.
When making pomegranate juice in a food processor, don’t pulse it too much. We don’t want to blend the white hard parts inside the arils. Otherwise, your juice will taste a bit bitter.
Pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern cuisine doesn’t include any sugar. It is used just like lemon juice with a unique flavor. So we don’t use any sugar in this recipe. If you want your molasses sweeter, combine ½ cup sugar and 5 cups pomegranate juice in the saucepan and cook them together. Keep in mind that it will thicken faster when you add sugar. Your sauce will be ready after about 1 and ½ hours.
Don’t ever try to speed up the process by cooking it on high heat. It should simmer slowly over medium low heat. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the liquid in the pan from boiling.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 672
- Sugar: 157.5 g
- Sodium: 112.1 mg
- Fat: 3.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 163.5 g
- Protein: 1.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: how to make pomegranate molasses
Bertie Simpson says
Excited to find your recipe. Since pomegranates are not in season this time of year, will this recipe work temporarily using POM juice?
Thanks so much for the recipe.....
Hi Bertie, I've never used POM juice, so I don't want to mislead you. What does it contain? Only pomegranate juice? It probably includes some chemicals for a long shelf life. So I'm not sure if it works to make pomegranate molasses. Is it sour enough? If it is as sweet as any other fruit juice, I wouldn't recommend.
This worked really well! I have two different types of pomegranate and so far I have used the deeper red, tangier one to make the molasses. The second type is a much lighter pink colour and less juicy - will this recipe also work for that type? Thank you!
Hi Katherine, it should work fine with those less juicy pomegranates as well, but I guess you will end up with less molasses. Oh and if they are too sweet, the final result will taste like a jam. Pomegranate molasses has to be tangy for us.
Hi Zerin, discovered your blog some weeks ago...enjoy going through it and trying out some of the recipes.
Wanted to know the function of salt in this recipe.
Inspired by this, made a syrup by crushing some leftover fresh sweet arils and reducing with crushed anardana for the sourness and tang. Used it as a dressing...yum. ( Anardana is dried sour pomegranate seeds, commonly used in Indian cooking)
This really does look interesting. I just have two questions. A) How long is this good for in the fridge?
B) I don't think making the juice from fresh pomegranates is a viable option for me. Can I just use the bottled juice? (Although that seems criminal, because it is so delicious!)
Thanks so much for this recipe. I finally found a jar of pomegranate molasses and it was terribly expensive. I am so excited that I can now be able to make it myself...and just in time for pomegranate season!! And you are so right, it makes such a difference to the dishes it is added to!
Natty Dias says
I bought it in Dubai very cheap. One bottle goes a long way. I use just a little in my Fattoush Salad. The molasses are just not getting over. But that's because I don't eat salad often.
April Ozbilgin says
Your pomegranate molasses is gorgeoous. I was always curious how this was made. It is amazing that something so delicious and exotic is that easy to make. Thanks for the lovely post!
Karin Anderson says
I searched for pomegranate molasses high and low, until I finally found some. Nice to be able to make it yourself.