Pomegranate molasses is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine and have a distinct sweet and sour taste. It is also referred to as pomegranate syrup or pomegranate paste. Pomegranate molasses has gained popularity worldwide and are being used to give a new flavor to non-traditional dishes and drinks.
You can use various foods in place of pomegranate molasses. The top substitutes can be cranberry juice concentrate, grenadine, balsamic vinegar with sugar, sweetened pomegranate juice syrup, and tamarind paste with honey.
Cranberry Juice Concentrate
To replicate the tart flavor of pomegranate molasses, you can use cranberry juice concentrate. It works well in vinaigrettes and dishes. If you have cranberry juice on hand, you can make a simple thick syrup using cranberry juice and sugar or molasses. Adjust the sugar or molasses to your taste, depending on how pre-sweetened your juice is.
Grenadine is one of the best substitutes for pomegranate molasses if you are making a drink. However, it is much sweeter than pomegranate molasses, so you may have to reduce the amount of any added sweeteners.
Pomegranate Juice & Sugar
You can make your own pomegranate molasses at home by reducing pomegranate juice (either homemade or bottled) until you have a consistency like honey. Add sugar to your taste; however, if your juice is already sweetened, you do not need to add sugar.
Balsamic Vinegar & Sugar
You may be able to make the syrup by cooking balsamic vinegar with sugar to replicate the sweet and tart taste of pomegranate molasses. This works well on roasted vegetables as well as a dip in a mezze platter.
Raspberry Jam Reduction
Tamarind Paste & Honey
If you are looking to make a Middle Eastern dish with meat and want an intense burst of flavor, you can substitute pomegranate molasses with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste and 1 teaspoon of honey. You can also use tamarind paste cooked with dates.
Cassis (Blackcurrant) Syrup
If you want to jazz up your drinks, use cassis syrup. However, it has a slightly bitter taste as compared to pomegranate molasses.