October 17, 2009

Pucker Up With Pomegranate Molasses

Today's exotic ingredient is pomegranate molasses. This is a popular ingredient in the Middle East and it highlights several well-known dishes, such as fesenjan and muhammarah. It is an intensely flavored reduction of pomegranate juice. I don't like to eat pomegranate fruit because of all those dang seeds, but the juice and molasses are delicious: tart and tangy, with a hint of sweetness.

The following dish is really about the sauce. At the core of it is pomegranate molasses, mellowed slightly with nuts. We purchase our molasses at the local Middle Eastern grocery, but you can also get it from Amazon: Pomegranate Molasses - 14 oz.

Since my daughter is allergic to walnuts, I used pecans instead. It still tasted great, so feel free to experiment with the nuts.

This sauce could go over roasted vegetables, or perhaps even over a pasta. In this recipe, I pair it with bland stir-fried tofu pieces.

Tofu with Pomegranate-Walnut Sauce


2 T olive oil
1 package firm tofu, drained and pressed in a towel
½ T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ c walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1/8 t cinanamon
½ c water
2 t honey
¼ t salt


1. Make the tofu: cut tofu block into 5 or 6 thick slabs. Pan fry this in the 2 T olive oil.

2. Make the sauce: Heat the ½ T olive oil in a small skillet. When hot, saute onion and garlic until soft and transparent. Remove from heat.

3. Place nuts, cinnamon, and cooked onions into a blender. Pulse briefly, then add the remaining ingredients and blend for two minutes. Add water to get mixture to desired consistency (it should be thinner than mayonnaise.

4. Serve sauce over tofu, and optionally over rice.

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