A thick, fragrant and gloriously tangy reduction of pomegranate juice, made by boiling the liquid to a sticky, syrupy consistency, pomegranate molasses is a key ingredient of Middle Eastern-Mediterranean cooking. The flavour is sweetly tart and brings astringency and sourness to dishes in a similar manner to lemon juice or tamarind. It's particularly useful to keep on hand in the larder as it lasts indefinitely.
IN THE KITCHEN
Pomegranate molasses goes well with duck and chicken and can be simply brushed over whole birds before roasting to give a crisp skin and tangy flavour. Add some to a herby dressing of olive oil, lemon and garlic - be generous with chopped parsley and mint - and use to enliven fried or boiled vegetables and salads. Incorporating it in marinades helps to tenderize lamb and pork. Pomegranate molasses can also he diluted with water to make cordials and sorbets.
Most of the pomegranate molasses found on sale in Britain hails from Lebanon, however a lighter Moroccan style is also available.
Pomegranate molasses (sometimes called pomegranate syrup) can be used straight from the bottle. You can also make it yourself at home. There are two main methods. One is to squeeze the juice from a large pomegranate then boil the liquid until it has reduced to just two tablespoons. Alternatively, take 750ml pomegranate juice, 100g sugar and 125ml lemon juice and simmer until reduced to 250ml.