Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots

This stuff is like crack. Seriously. Pomegranate molasses, which is made by boiling down the juice of a tart variety of pomegranates, is one of my favorite secret ingredients. I have heard of it for some time, but had been a bit shy about using it. My friend Holly, who is a food scholar, researcher, and cook extraordinaire who has spent much time cooking in the Middle East, introduced me to it, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Similarly to tamarind concentrate or paste, pomegranate molasses has an addictive tang that’s hard to replicate with any other substitute.

Paula Wolfert, Middle Eastern cooking guru, says the following about the ingredient: “Pomegranate molasses is an essential ingredient…has a wonderful flavor and a heady aroma, and its thickness and dark color make food look very appealing. It keeps almost indefinitely. The uses for this thick, tangy, piquant syrup are many. It blends well with walnuts, adds a tart and pungent flavor to beans, sharpens the taste of poultry, gives a clean, tart taste to fish, gives an astringent edge to salads and vegetables, and is a great tenderizer for lamb and pork. It can also be diluted and used for sharp drinks and tart sorbets.”

I’ve used it in a lot of things lately: champagne cocktails, the addictive Turkish bulgar salad kısırsalad dressings and marinades . . . the list goes on and on, and I can even eat it off the spoon.

Anyway, while browsing through one of my favorite cookbooks, Paula Wolfert’s The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean: 215 Healthy, Vibrant, and Inspired Recipes I came across a recipe for kibbe accompanied by a lamb stew with carrots and pomegranate molasses. I’m not a meat eater, but the pomegranate molasses glazed carrots really appealed, so I figured I’d try out the recipe. Cooking with carrots is also a favorite thing of mine since carrots are: 1) cheap! 2) the organic ones are also cheap and 3) almost always readily available and not bad out of season–when I was unemployed and my husband was a grad student, carrots were always in our refrigerator because of their affordability.

I followed the recipe directions and slightly overcooked the carrots for my taste, so I’ve cut the cooking time down below and modified the recipe slightly to my tastes. I’m always looking for exciting new vegetable side dish alternatives to my same old go-to dishes like steamed or roasted broccoli, and so I think that this one is a keeper.

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots

adapted from Paula Wolfert’s recipe, “Kibbeh with Glazed Carrots and Pomegranate”

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb. butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. dried mint
  • 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses
Cut the carrots on the diagonal into thin slices. Heat the butter or oil in a skillet over medium. Add the carrots, shake to coat them with butter or oil, and cover. Cook over medium to medium high for about 7 minutes, until they color in spots and are tender. Add the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until “al dente” or cooked to your liking. With the cover on, you shouldn’t have to add any water to keep them from sticking. Add the pomegranate molasses and the mint and cook for another few minutes until glazed and aromatic. Serves 4.

7 thoughts on “Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots

  1. a) yum
    b) where can i purchase this magic elixer?
    c) would it be good in guacamole? I’ve had guac with pomegranite ariles in it and it was so tasty, but sort of annoying/expensive to procure the actual fruit.

    hope you guys are having a cozy sunday!

    • You should be able to get pomegranate molasses at any Middle Eastern store. According to Chowhound 🙂 (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/368204) the following locations in Boston would be good bets:
      -Coolidge Sq. on Mt. Auburn for Sevan Bakery, Arax Market, or Massis Bakery
      -Watertown has some spots
      -Apparently some Shaw’s grocery stores even have it…

      Guac with pomegranate molasses is an incredible idea! Middle Eastern food has lots of onion, chiles, cumin, and citrus, so all of those ingredients would go well with the pom molasses, I bet. I would experiment with how much to mix in, if you do it that way, but it would also be easy to just drizzle some on top as well. Let me know how it goes! (P.S. it’s also incredible in hummus and baba ganoush/any eggplant dip.)

      And thank you, our Sunday was cozy!

      • You’re the best. Thanks for mapping my path to pomegranate nirvana. I will look at Shaw’s first and keep you posted.

  2. Update: still haven’t bought the molasses, but we ate at Oleana a little while ago (a really great Mediterranean place in Cambridge), and had a chickpea terrine that was SO GOOD. When Ryan asked what was on top of it, the waitress said pomegranate molasses! So I can attest that it is quite crack-like in its tastiness.

  3. Pingback: Spinach Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pomegranate Dressing | Cooking From Afar

  4. Pingback: Tasting Jerusalem: Tart, Tangy, Tantalizing Pomegranate Molasses - OMG! Yummy

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