Ever since my love for Middle Eastern food heightened, my fondness for the pomegranate molasses also increased. I always wondered why this molasses is loved so much and widely enjoyed in Middle Eastern cuisine. And when I used this sweet and savory molasses in the roasted chickpeas salad, I was amazed. Trust me!
I tried making chickpea salad a gazillion times before, but never ever it tasted as good as it tasted after using the pomegranate molasses. Since that day, I have been using this molasses, off and on, in making a variety of salads, sauces, dips, and marinades, etc.
Luckily, I received my first pomegranate molasses bottle from a friend of mine. I used it a couple of times. And just when I was making a savory salad for my guests, it ran out. So, right before getting a panic attack. I asked myself, is there a pomegranate molasses substitute? What can I use in place of pomegranate molasses? If so, what is a good substitute for pomegranate molasses?
And that’s when it hit me that there are, in fact, several other savory options that I can use as a substitute for pomegranate molasses in my salad.
So, I started searching and asking around. And then I ended up finding a list of pomegranate molasses substitutes.
From grenadine to pomegranate juice with sugar, cranberry juice or concentrate, balsamic vinegar with and sugar, raspberry jam, fresh pomegranate seeds, lemon and lime juice with honey, cassis syrup, Homemade pomegranate molasses, Tamarind paste, and honey you can use all those ingredients as a perfect substitute for pomegranate molasses.
Need To Know What Pomegranate Molasses Is? Let Me Explain!
If you are not that familiar with the whole idea of using pomegranate molasses in your food. Then, let me tell you how delicious this molasses can make a recipe. Pomegranate seeds are enjoyed all over the world for their sour and sweet taste. Pomegranate juice is used widely in different drinks, beverages, and cocktails.
The pomegranate seeds are edible, and they are also used to garnish several puddings and to make salads. The molasses extracted out of the pomegranate juice is known as pomegranate molasses.
A molasses is basically a thick and dark-colored syrup that is quite concentrated and it is made out of the juice of a fruit, which in this case, is the pomegranate juice.
What can pomegranate molasses be used for?
This thick syrup is used in a very small amount to season a variety of dishes. Mostly pomegranate molasses is used in Middle Eastern cooking to make different types of salads, and their dressings. Different brands offer pomegranate molasses, and you can find 10-ounce bottles of this molasses on Amazon easily.
It has a tart and sweet taste. Here are some other ideas to use pomegranate molasses:
- Salad Dressing
- Drinks and beverages
- Meat marinades
- Dips and condiments
- Roasted vegetables and meat
- Cocktail and beverages
11 Easy Substitutes for Pomegranate
Now that you know that pomegranate molasses is, in fact, an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, and several meals, you can start using this molasses or its substitutes in your recipe. While finding the substitute for pomegranate molasses, I looked for something that has a similar taste and texture.
Since this molasses is tart and sweet in taste, I started checking the alternatives that have those same flavors. While doing so, I found different ingredients right in my kitchen and refrigerator. So here comes the top 11 Best substitutes for pomegranate molasses.
1. Pomegranate Seeds
The first technique to replace a processed food item is to go back to the source, which means that if you cannot find pomegranate molasses then you can use the fresh pomegranate seeds to have a similar taste.
And the good thing about using these seeds is that they are so refreshing. They are full of fibers, and they are healthier than the molasses themselves.
Having pomegranate seeds in your salads is good, both for the taste and the texture. You can mix the seeds with balsamic reduction to have a strong tart taste like the pomegranate molasses, and that will work perfectly fine for you. Trust me. I have tried this technique, and it worked out well.
2. Cranberry Juice or Concentrate
Cranberry juice and sauce are something that is widely used in our everyday meals. We use cranberry juice in different drinks and serve the sauce on all festive occasions. So, the taste of cranberry is not new to us. And that is why I knew that cranberries and their juice can be a perfect substitute for pomegranate molasses.
How to Make Cranberry Concentrate?
You can mix the cranberry juice with sugar and cook these ingredients together to make a cranberry concentrate or a simple syrup. In this way, you will get a thick liquid and syrup-like consistency just like the pomegranate molasses, and it will also have a strong tart taste because of the cranberry juice.
And just like that, you will have a cranberry syrup, which is a perfect substitute for pomegranate molasses. You can add this syrup to salad dressings to garnish, soups, appetizers, and any other dish.
Do you have grenadine at home? Well, that is also a pretty good substitute for pomegranate molasses. If you don’t believe me, try it by yourself. You are going to love it. In fact, the word “grenade” means pomegranate in French, which means that grenadine is prepared from pomegranate juice, water, and sugar. It is also known as pomegranate syrup. So, there you go, you can have the pomegranate-like taste in your recipe using a glass of grenadine.
But wait! Is pomegranate molasses the same as grenadine? Not really, though both are extracted from the pomegranate seeds, they are slightly different because both are processed differently, so each of them has a different concentration but grenadine makes a close match to the pomegranate molasses, taste-wise!
Grenadine is usually used in making drinks and cocktails. So, most of us have it around. You can either cook this juice to make it more concentrated or you can directly use it in your recipe as per your taste palette.
4. Lemon Juice and Honey
Hey, if you are looking for something tart and sour, then why not use some lemon juice. After all, it is an easily available ingredient. But the thing is, lemon juice, is not as thick as the pomegranate molasses. So, what I do is I mix lemon juice with some honey to get the sweet and tangy syrup that can best replace pomegranate molasses in any recipe!
Now you have the simplest and easiest way to replace pomegranate molasses. Although, lemon juice, has a different type of tartness and kick in its taste, but it’s okay. It will work fine especially if you are making a salad dressing or making a sauce or a marinade.
All you have to do is to mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with a tablespoon of honey, and you will have two tablespoons of lemon-honey syrup, which can replace pomegranate molasses in an equal amount.
5. Raspberry Reduction or Jam
Have you ever used raspberry jam or raspberry reduction in your cooking? Well, if you have, then you would know that this jam or reduction also has a sweet, fruity and tart flavor that is best for your salads and other dishes. So Raspberry jam, reduction or preserves are easily available in the market. You can also use fresh raspberries to make a jam of your own, and then use it as a pomegranate molasses substitute. You can adjust the consistency of the jam by mixing it with water or use it directly in your recipes.
6. Pomegranate Juice
if you have pomegranate juice at home, then that will also work. You can turn this juice into a concentrated syrup as well. Pomegranate juice is considerably less tart and less concentrated than its molasses. But when you are looking for suitable alternatives for pomegranate molasses, you cannot rule out the possibility of using pomegranate juice. In fact, It’s sour and sweet, which makes it a perfect option to add flavor to sauces, marinades, salads, and other recipes.
7. Homemade Pomegranate Molasses
Let me tell you another secret. While getting my head around all other possible substitute ideas for pomegranate molasses. I enjoyed using my homemade pomegranate molasses the most. That’s right! If you have fresh pomegranates or pomegranate juice in your refrigerator, then you have nothing to worry about. You can make great-tasting pomegranate molasses by yourself using some basic ingredients.
How to Make Homemade Pomegranate Molasses?
To make this homemade pomegranate molasses you will need to first blend all the pomegranate seeds in a blender and then pour into a bowl lined with cheesecloth or a fine strainer. The idea is to remove all the solids from the juice. If you already have the pomegranate juice then skip these steps.
After getting the juice, you can add the juice to a saucepan along with sugar and lemon juice. Now put this mixture on a simmer for about one hour. Reduce the heat of the stove to low after 45 minutes and let your molasses cook for the next 15 minutes with occasional stirring.
It will appear thick and dark brown in color. Now, allow this molasses to cool down first and then store it in a sealable bottle in a refrigerator. You can use this molasses anytime.
8. Balsamic Vinegar and Sugar
There is yet another way to replace that tart and sweet flavor of the pomegranate molasses, and that is to use a mixture of balsamic vinegar and sugar. Vinegar has a sour acidic taste and when it is mixed with sugar it gets a balance of sweet and sour taste, just like the pomegranate molasses. So, you can add this mixture to salad dressings and sauces, to make roasted meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.
9. Blackcurrant Syrup or Cassis Syrup
The black currant syrup or the cassis syrup – what they call in France, is actually a pretty good substitute for the pomegranate molasses. The cassis syrup is usually added to drinks. And it is enjoyed for its concentrated flavor and a sweet and tart taste.
This syrup also comes in bottles. And if you happen to have this black currant syrup at home, then you can use it to replace pomegranate syrup in your recipes. Just make sure to use the syrup in a suitable amount as per your taste palate. You can add this syrup to drinks, cocktails, and to make salads, and their dressings, as well.
10. Tamarind Paste and Honey
There is another perfect substitute to replace pomegranate molasses, and that is the mixture of tamarind paste and honey. In fact, while searching for a replacement for pomegranate molasses. I looked around for every possible ingredient that could have a tart and sour taste with a hint of sweetness. And that’s when it clicked my mind that tamarind paste also has a sour and tart flavor, which can be made a little sweet by mixing it with honey. So, I mixed these two ingredients in equal proportion and got a perfect syrup-like substitute for pomegranate molasses. You can mix tamarind paste and honey in equal amounts and then use it in sauces or salads.
11. Other Substitutes
If you only want the sour taste in your recipes then apple cider vinegar with some honey or maple syrup can also be used as a substitute for pomegranate molasses in salad, sauces and marinades etc. Pomegranate sauce is another good substitute for pomegranate molasses.
Pomegranate Molasses Storage
Do you refrigerate molasses after opening? Well, yes! Once opened the molasses can only last for six months if kept in a refrigerator. As long as the molasses is kept in a clean and closed container at the low temperature, it won’t spoil.
Frequently Asked Questions