Passionate Pomegranate


Pomegranate molasses is a culinary gem that has been used for centuries in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African cuisines. Its rich, tangy flavour and versatility make it a prized ingredient in many dishes, from savoury to sweet. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the origins of pomegranate molasses, its uses, flavours, varieties, and how it's made. We'll also explore the pomegranate fruit itself and share some delicious recipes featuring this amazing ingredient.

The Origins of Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses, also known as pomegranate syrup, has its roots in the ancient culinary traditions of the Middle East, particularly in countries like Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon. It has been a staple in these cuisines for thousands of years, celebrated for its unique combination of sweet and tart flavours.

Historical Significance:

  • Ancient Persia: Pomegranates were first cultivated in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran) and quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean region. They were prized not only for their flavour but also for their medicinal properties and symbolic meanings of fertility and abundance.
  • Ottoman Empire: During the Ottoman Empire, pomegranate molasses became a key ingredient in Turkish cuisine. It was used in a variety of dishes, including kebabs, stews, and salads, adding depth and complexity to the flavours.

The Pomegranate Fruit

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree that originated in the region extending from Iran to northern India. It has been cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and South Asia for several millennia.


  • Appearance: The fruit is typically round, with a tough, leathery skin that ranges in colour from yellow-orange to deep red.
  • Seeds: Inside, it contains hundreds of edible seeds called arils, which are encased in juicy, ruby-red sacs.
  • Flavour: The arils are known for their sweet, tangy flavour, combining hints of berry and citrus.

How Pomegranate Molasses is Made

Pomegranate molasses is made by reducing pomegranate juice to a thick, syrupy consistency. The process is straightforward but requires patience to achieve the right texture and flavour.

Steps to Make Pomegranate Molasses:

  1. Juicing: Fresh pomegranates are juiced to extract their rich, flavourful liquid. This can be done by cutting the fruit and squeezing the arils or using a juicer.
  2. Straining: The juice is strained to remove any seeds and pulp, ensuring a smooth liquid.
  3. Reducing: The juice is then simmered over low heat with or without added sugar (depending on the desired sweetness) until it reduces to a thick, syrupy consistency. This process can take several hours.
  4. Cooling: Once the desired consistency is achieved, the molasses is cooled and stored in a sterilised jar.

Flavour, Texture, and Varieties

Flavour Profile:

  • Tangy and Sweet: Pomegranate molasses is known for its bold, tangy flavour, with a perfect balance of sweet and tart notes. It can add a vibrant acidity to dishes, making it a versatile ingredient in both savoury and sweet recipes.
  • Complexity: The reduction process concentrates the natural sugars and flavours of the pomegranate, resulting in a rich, complex taste with hints of berry, citrus, and caramel.


  • Thick and Syrupy: The texture of pomegranate molasses is thick and syrupy, similar to that of balsamic glaze. This consistency makes it easy to drizzle over dishes or mix into sauces and dressings.


  • Traditional: The traditional variety is made purely from pomegranate juice and is usually quite tart. This version is common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.
  • Sweetened: Some versions of pomegranate molasses include added sugar, making them sweeter and more akin to a syrup. This variety is often used in desserts and cocktails.

Culinary Uses of Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Here are some popular uses:

Savoury Dishes:

  • Marinades and Glazes: It makes an excellent marinade for meats such as lamb, chicken, and pork, adding a sweet and tangy depth of flavour. It can also be used as a glaze for roasted vegetables.
  • Salad Dressings: Mix it with olive oil, lemon juice, and spices to create a vibrant salad dressing. It pairs particularly well with hearty greens and grains.
  • Stews and Sauces: Add it to stews, tagines, and sauces for a unique flavour profile that enhances the richness of the dish.

Sweet Dishes:

  • Desserts: Drizzle it over ice cream, yoghurt, or pancakes for a deliciously tangy topping. It can also be used in baking, adding complexity to cakes and pastries.
  • Beverages: Use it to flavour cocktails, mocktails, and even teas. Its bold flavour adds a refreshing twist to drinks.

Health Benefits

Pomegranate molasses retains many of the health benefits of the pomegranate fruit, including:

  • Antioxidants: Rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage.
  • Vitamins: A good source of vitamins C and K.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: May help reduce inflammation in the body.

Try These Recipes

To experience the unique flavour of pomegranate molasses, try these delicious recipes from our website:

  1. Pulled Lamb Shoulder: This succulent lamb shoulder is enhanced with a pomegranate molasses glaze, giving it a rich, tangy flavour. Perfect for a hearty meal.

  2. Ancient Grain Salad: This vibrant salad features ancient grains and a pomegranate molasses dressing, making it a healthy and delicious option.


Pomegranate molasses is a versatile and flavourful ingredient with a rich history and a multitude of culinary uses. Its unique blend of sweet and tangy flavours can elevate a variety of dishes, from savoury meats to refreshing salads and decadent desserts. By incorporating pomegranate molasses into your cooking, you can bring a taste of ancient culinary traditions into your modern kitchen.

Explore the wonderful world of pomegranate molasses and enjoy the depth and complexity it adds to your dishes. Happy cooking!

The Feedlot BBQ Team