Rob’ eh anar, or pomegrante syrup (also referred to as pomegranate molasses or concentrate or paste) is a staple ingredient in Persian cooking. My mother has never made it herself from scratch and since her mother’s time, she tells me, the custom has been to just buy store-bought. I geeked out therefore when I found out that friend and intrepid cook Suzanne makes her own and got her recipe, which I’m delighted to share with you – as you see above – in her very own words. Thank you Suzanne!
Homemade is best but there’s something to be said about the convenience of store-bought as well. Caveat emptor: the flavor and color of roe’beh anâr varies somewhat significantly from brand to brand.
After experimentation with various labels, my mother swears by the Golchin brand which she finds to have just the right balance of sweet and tangy flavor. She also likes its rich dark color, specially for making fesenjoon.
Myself, I use the Cortas brand, and, whoa Nelly, it is super tangy, but I don’t mind, and I like the fact that it is made without sugar. I just use it sparingly, and if I lose my head and go overboard, compensate with adding some sugar to balance the flavor. The color is alright. No complaints.
Point being: try a few till you find a brand you can see yourself growing old with.
The famous khoresh ‘eh fessenjoon, made with crushed walnuts and pomegranate syrup, will be posted next and that will (finally!) conclude our all-pomegranates-all-the-time programming around here and instead will switch to barraging you with all-Norooz-all-the-time coverage.
If all goes well, I hope to have some special recipes for you (maybe sholeh zard) and to also share things like “shaking your house”, “fire-jumping”, growing grass and then callously throwing it out in a fortnight, getting gold and giving respect, and of course, making a spread of the Seven Persian Seen’s, and the food, oh all the glorious food. All part and parcel and among the threads that together, since ancient times of ‘yore, have made up the traditions and celebration of the first day of spring and seeing in a new year in Iran.
Until then, zubizubizou