Eat Local Mouneh

Pomegranate molasses – debs el remmen

Pomegranate molasses is a basic ingredient in the Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine as it adds a lot of flavors to an array of traditional dishes such as “sfeeha” and “lahm b ajeen”, “fattoush” salad, braised “makanek” and meat etc.

Sour pomegranate fruits are collected during fall season – October – to prepare this thick concentrate. The preparation steps are easy, but the procedure is a long one and needs patience.

Organic pomegranates displayed in Souk aal Souk – Farmers’ market

Preparation steps:

  1. First of all, the pomegranate fruits are seeded
  2. Juice is then extracted from the seeds using a tomato squeezer. If you wish to prepare pomegranate molasses at home, on a small scale, you can use a food processor/blender to squeeze the seeds.
  3. Once the juice is extracted, it is brought to boil on a medium fire.
  4. When the juice starts boiling, the fire is lowered and the juice is left to simmer with occasional stirring (every 10 minutes).
  5. The molasses is ready when the total volume of juice is reduced by around 80%.
  6. The final product is a thick and brown sweet and tangy syrup. It is packed with nutrients.
The pomegranate seeds are separated
The juice is extracted using a “tomato squeezer”
The white seeds are separated and discarded
The beautiful crimson juice is collected
The pomegranate juice is transferred to a pot for boiling
The juice is left to boil until it is reduced by 80% of its volume
In The Media

Pomegranate – Taste&Flavors

The pomegranate shrub (small tree) has been planted in the Mediterranean region since ancient times. The name pomegranate derives from medieval French and means seeded apple. In many cultures, the fruit symbolizes prosperity and fertility.

Check out the full article in Taste&Flavors magazine, Autumn 2016 issue.

Pomegranate: Taste&Flavors
Eat Local

Pomegranate, the “seeded apple”

Pomegranate flowers
Pomegranate flowers, Saghbine – West Bekaa

The pomegranate shrub (small tree) has been planted in the Mediterranean region since ancient times. The name “pomegranate” derives from medieval French and means “seeded apple”. In many cultures, the fruit symbolizes prosperity and fertility. Juice, wine and molasses are processed from pomegranate fruits, the latter being very popular in many cuisines including the Lebanese one. The seeds have also their share in the kitchen; when dried, they are used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine as spices in the preparation of chutney and curry.

Organic pomegranates displayed in Souk aal Souk - Farmers' market
Organic pomegranates displayed in Souk aal Souk – Farmers’ market

Several varieties of pomegranates are planted on different altitudes across Lebanon; they vary from sour acidic to sweet. The fruits are harvested in fall. Pomegranate molasses or debs el remman, which is commonly used in the Lebanese cuisine, is prepared by boiling the sour fruits’ juice until it thickens; sugar is sometimes added. It is used in salads and vegetarian pastries as a substitute for lemon juice; it is also used to marinate meat and adds rich flavors to makanek (Lebanese sausages).

Pomegranate molasses. Photo ©ClaudeCooks
Pomegranate molasses. Photo ©ClaudeCooks

Health benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate or “the hard red fruit with million seeds” is considered to be a “super fruit” since it is packed with antioxidants, vitamins (C, A, E & Bs), and minerals (Calcium, iron, potassium) that boost your health and wellbeing. Its crunchy and refreshing texture makes pomegranate an attractive garnish on salads and dishes or a fantastic fresh juice. It is also used in the form of “Pomegranate molasses” to add a sweet and bitter touch to dishes leading to a flavor explosion for the taste buds!


80 calories / 100 g pomegranate

135 calories / 1 cup pomegranate juice

50 calories / 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses


Tip: Freezing the entire fruit makes it easier to separate and remove the grains



Fattoush – Lebanese mixed salad

Fattoush "king of the table"!
Fattoush “king of the table”!

Prepared and consumed not only in Lebanon, but around the globe, fattoush or Lebanese salad combines a mixture of fresh greens and vegetables served with a lemony dressing. The ingredients used in fattoush vary according to their availability along the seasons. Sometimes, fattoush is served with fried Lebanese or pita bread, but for a healthier version,  opt for baked pita bread instead!

Total servings: 4

Calories: 350 kcal/serving


Half a Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped

3 medium cucumbers, sliced

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 radishes, sliced

½ cup of parsley, coarsely chopped

¼ cup of fresh mint

¼ cup of fresh thyme leaves

½ cup of purslane leaves

3 loaves of Lebanese bread or pita, toasted

1 Tbsp. of sumac

1 Tbsp. of pomegranate molasses

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation steps:

  1. In a large bowl, put all the vegetables together and mix
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients and incorporate them to the vegetables
  3. Serve the fattoush fresh and cold, topped with pieces of the baked pita bread