Our ingredients – pomegranate molasses

We often get a whole host of questions about how to use the products and ingredients in our shop – from the extraordinary array of herbs, spices and chillies, through to the ever trendy black garlic…not forgetting the adventurous and curious flavours of cordials on hand.

So, we thought it was about time to start sharing some of our favourite hints, tips and recipes to get you going and maybe even debunk some myths along the way. 

Today we’re focusing on Pomegranate Molasses, why?

Well, too many times we’ve heard you cry, ‘I used it once and then it sat in my cupboard for a billion years unused’… a travesty!

There’s so much you can do with this ancient and wondrous ingredient – it’s sweet but sour, thick, sharp, rich, deep and completely versatile.

As a native fruit of Persia, the pomegranate (and pomegranate molasses) is synonymous with Middle Eastern, African and Mediterranean cooking, which is where the ingredient really does shine.

It adds a fruity almost citric taste to any dish meaning there’s no excuse as to why you can’t get creative with the ingredient.

It can work as a super substitute for balsamic vinegar, honey, or even lemon juice – anything you want to imbue with a richness, tartness, sweetness.

Think drinks, soups, stews, dressings and desserts…no longer may this ingredient sit sorrowfully in the back of your cupboard!  

Here are three recipes to get you going: – stick with it

1, 2, 3 BAKE!

Put a pin in this one

You could make your own at home, but we promise you it’s probably not worth it.

Pomegranate molasses is made from the fruits fresh juice, which is reduced to a thick, luxurious syrup to enhance and intensify the natural flavours.

Technically it’s not really a molasses, just a delicious concentrated syrup.

Now, it might sound easy to make yourself, but fresh pomegranates are really expensive and often a right faff, so why make your life difficult making it yourself?!

Oh! And looking for something a bit different? Don’t like pomegranate? Well don’t you worry – we stock Cherry Molasses too!

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Little Turban curry sauces at mmm…

Little Turban sauces at mmm

‘Little Turban’ (aka Harj) is an artisan producer of modern regional Indian cooking sauces available at mmm…

Their vision is to introduce real authentic, regional flavours and aromas from around India to your dining table.

Little Turban’s products reflect the diverse flavours, aromas, spices and tastes India has to offer.

Each of their cooking sauces is inspired by a regional classic steeped in tradition and influenced from past generations and rulers.

Little Turban at mmm…

Rich and aromatic Lababdar Curry

A meal fit for Royalty!

A rich sauce made with a cashew nut paste, cream and butter for that decadent experience.

This dish originates from the Mughal era and has stood the test of time as a truly rich royal dish from Hyderabad.

Rustic and hearty Kashmiri Rogan Josh

The famous Rogan Josh created in the way it was orginally created with freshly ground Kashmiri chillies.

These chillies give this sauce a deep red colour.

Combined with a blend of aromatic spices and tomatoes this sauce is a umami hit, which gives it an amazing meaty taste.

Creamy and aromatic Makhani Masala

Creamy, rich and well spiced is the only description for my version of the famous Butter Chicken made famous in Old Delhi

Little Turban was inspired to recreate it with his special blend of tandoori spices.

A real must for lovers of Butter Chicken and for those that enjoy a little spicy kick.

Hot and spicy Naga and Mango Curry

Little Turban’s take on the classic chicken curry but with a bit of kick.

This smooth sauce is combined with a special garam masala blend, naga chilli and mango pulp.

This combination gives the sauce a great balance of heat and sweetness.

A must for chilli lovers.

Creamy coconut Goan Fish Curry

Inspired by Harj’s (aka Little Turban) trip to Goa.

This creamy coconut based sauce brings together a blend of complex spices together which embodies the coastal flavours of Goa.

It’s great with with fish and seafood, as well as chicken, lamb, beef and pork.

Meet the producer – Little Turban’s sauces are already hugely popular with our customers at mmm… so come and try one yourself from 1pm on Saturday, 11 March with Harj himself.

Want to know more?

Kwan’s Kitchen stir fry kits at mmm…

Kwan's Kitchen at mmm...

Kwan's Kitchen family photoKwan’s Kitchen, award-winning Chinese condiments and stir fry kits at mmm… can help you create restaurant quality dishes at home in minutes.

The Kwan family knows a thing or two about the Great British taste for Chinese cuisine.

For more than three decades, they have been preparing authentic Chinese food that excites the taste buds of their restaurant clientele.

Originally from Guangdong province in South China, Kwan’s Kitchen take inspiration from the vast array of Chinese cuisine on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Kwan’s Kitchen at mmm…

Spicy Szechuan meal kit – this spicy kit uses a delicious blend of tomato and garlic combined with Kwan’s award winning Szechuan chilli oil to give you a true taste of Sichuan cuisine.

Kwans_Kitchen_spicy_SzechuanBlackbean and garlic meal kit – this stir fry meal kit uses freshly ground blackbean and garlic combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Aromatic curry meal kit – this kit uses a fine blend of herbs and spices combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Sweet chilli with sesame and coriander meal kit – this Sweet chilli stir fry kit uses a delicious blend of fresh red chillies combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend.

Unlike commercial sweet chilli sauce Kwan’s don’t dilute the chillies with water or saturate with sugar.

How to use the kits – simply choose your favourite meat and vegetables, follow the simple three step process and you have a restaurant quality Chinese meal in 10 minutes!

Salt and pepper spice/hot salt and pepper spice – Kwan’s traditional family blend of five spice, ginger and garlic has been used in Kwan’s restaurants since 1978.

Experience authentic Chinese flavours with this versatile seasoning blend.

Want to know more?

Easter is here – and so is Spring …

This month Easter chocolates and the arrival of Spring …

  • Easter is coming and we celebrate one of our great local suppliers – Davenport’s Chocolates.
  • Sunday, 20 March marked the Persian New Year, ‘Norooz’, celebrating the first day of spring. To mark this event we share with you a recipe for Persian Kisir salad (adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s book ‘Persiana’).
  • The arrival of spring means the first signs of new produce and one of the tastiest and most fleeting is wild garlic. 
  • We also want to share a lovely recipe for wild garlic and potato soup.

Davenport’s Chocolates

Hand crafted in Tyneside by Jane Williams and her team of chocolate artisans.

Davenports eggsJane trained as a classical chocolatier under Master chocolatier, Philippe Burger and preserves the traditional Swiss method of ‘enrobing’, whereby tasty handmade centres are delicately coated in smooth, rich chocolate couveture.

Jane’s team are multi-skilled with a passion for chocolate and at Davenport’s there is no mechanised production line, every task is completed by hand with care.

Davenport’s chocolates are available all-year round at mmm… and at Easter we are stocking these Davenport’s hand-crafted chocolate eggs:

  • Vintage Collection dark chocolate eggs
  • Vintage Collection milk chocolate eggs
  • Signature Collection milk chocolate eggs
  • Floral Collection dark chocolate eggs
  • Fudge Mallow Milk chocolate eggs.

Persian New Year – Kisir

KisirKisir is a bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses and fresh herbs.

Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s book ‘Persiana’, this dish is great for sharing as part of a feast.  

You can also add feta cheese or similar and scoop up in gem lettuce cups for a nice pre-dinner snack.

You will need:

  • 250g Suma bulgur wheat (or try Zaytoun Palestinian Maftoul as an alternative)
  • 160ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp Asharun Spices harissa paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp Mutti tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp Arabica Spices pomegranate molasses
  • 5 tbsp Zaytoun extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 x 20g bag mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 x 20g bag flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 100g fresh pomegranate seeds.

Tip the bulgur wheat or Maftoul into a shallow bowl and pour over the hot water.

Allow to absorb (this should take 15 mins) and then transfer to a large bowl for mixing. 

Add the harissa, lemon juice, tomato puree, pomegranate molasses, oil, salt and pepper to the bulgur wheat and work into the grains using your hands.  

This will allow the grains to absorb all the lovely flavours.

Once you have mixed well, and the grains are well coated, add the tomatoes, spring onions, herbs and pomegranate seeds, and stir well until combined.  

Check the seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and lemon juice as required. 

Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving at room temperature.


In season – wild garlic

Wild garlicWild garlic is now in season and thrives in woodlands and around deciduous trees, especially where there is a marshy area or pond.

These leaves are delicious raw in salads, or in dressings such as Trotters Wild Garlic Pesto (a must have at mmm… and due very soon).

The taste is quite mild, similar to chives but with a hint of garlic.

Be sure to wash the leaves well before using.

A great way to use them is sliced very finely and tossed in olive oil, then simply tossed through a salad.

Moz’s favourite use for them is with mashed potato – simply slice finely, and stir through buttery mash.

To make delicious croquettes, you need to chill the mash, and form into small balls or sausage shapes.

Then dip them into beaten egg and coat with panko breadcrumbs. Shallow fry in rapeseed oil until brown and crisp – a great alternative to roast potatoes.

Once the plants have flowers, you can also deep fry the flowers as a garnish, or dip in a light batter for tempura – delicious.

Wild garlic and potato soup 

You will need:

  • 2 tbps Baste and Bray Extra Virgin Northumbrian rapeseed oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 200g white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 400g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (we love Marigold Vegetable Bouillon)
  • 60g wild garlic leaves, washed, dried and finely shredded
  • Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream for garnish.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Gently fry the shallots until softened without colouring.

Wild garlic soupAdd the diced potatoes and sweet potatoes and the stock.

Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Add the wild garlic leaves, reserving a few shreds for garnish.

Transfer the soup to a blender, or blend in the saucepan using a stick blender, until smooth.

Check your seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining shreds of wild garlic, and a swirl of crème fraiche or sour cream.

Serves 4.


Upcoming events at mmm… and glug…

  • Poetic Licence (distilled in Durham) free in-store gin and vodka tasting – Saturday, 2 April from 1pm
  • Hepple Gin (distilled in Hepple, Northumberland) free in-store tasting – Saturday, 23 April (tbc) from 1pm.

Moz’s Chiles en Nogada – a mmm… recipe

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada
Serves 6
Chiles en Nogada consists of poblano chilis filled with picadillo, topped with a walnut-based cream sauce giving it the three colours of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. Sauce
  2. 250g chopped walnuts, blanched, skinned and soaked in 375ml milk overnight.
  3. 125g queso fresco or feta cheese
  4. 375ml sour cream
  5. 1½ tbsp cane sugar
  6. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 6 large chiles poblanos
  8. Picadillo
  9. 650g ground beef or pork
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 4 tbsp olive oil
  12. ½ onion, finely chopped
  13. 3 cloves of Isle of Wight garlic, finely chopped
  14. 1 tbsp butter
  15. ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  16. ½ tsp ground black pepper
  17. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  18. 250g tomatoes, roasted in oven or in a hot heavy pan until blistered
  19. 125g golden raisins
  20. 1 large apple, peeled and roughly chopped
  21. Fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish
  22. Fresh coriander and parsley to garnish.
Instructions
  1. Roast the chiles in a dry heavy bottomed pan, or over a gas flame to char the skin. Put them in a polythene bag once charred.
  2. Allow to cool in the bag, and then peel off the skins as much as possible, leaving the chiles intact.
  3. Drain the walnuts, and place in a blender with the cheese, sour cream, sugar and cinnamon, and puree until smooth. You might need to add a little milk to help the blending process.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the meat and fry for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add the salt, onion, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and garlic and fry for another 2-3 mins until the onion is softened.
  6. Add the butter, and once melted, add the tomatoes and raisins and a tablespoon of water to stop the pan catching.
  7. Finally add the chopped apple, cook for 2 mins (add splashes of water if it looks dry) and check your seasoning.
  8. Allow to cool slightly.
Notes
  1. To serve, stuff the charred peeled chiles with the picadillo meat filling.
  2. Arrange in a serving dish, pour over the walnut sauce, and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and chopped herbs.
  3. Buen Provecho!
Adapted from Erika Servin Gonzalez (one of our lovely customers at mmm...
Adapted from Erika Servin Gonzalez (one of our lovely customers at mmm...
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
The poblanos, walnuts, cinnamon, oil, salt, garlic, cloves, pepper, raisins and sugar for these Chiles en Nogada came from mmm…
The beef, apples, pomegranates and fresh herbs came from the Grainger Market.

Moz’s Bagna Cauda – a mmm… recipe

Bagna Cauda

Bagna Cauda
Serves 3
A delicious anchovy dip that goes so well with crusty bread and crudités.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 200mls olive oil
  2. 2 x 30g tin Cooks & co anchovy fillets
  3. 75g butter
  4. 6 large Isle of White garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  5. Lemon juice, Maldon Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Instructions
  1. Pound the garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar until fairly smooth.
  2. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can use a blender, but you don’t want it too smooth, or too chunky.
  3. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a small pan over a low heat.
  4. Add the garlic and anchovy mix, and heat very gently for about 10 minutes, until the garlic and anchovy have all but melted away.
  5. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly ground black pepper – check before adding any more salt, you might not need it because of the butter and anchovies.
Notes
  1. Traditionally this is served in a warmed bowl (ideally over a tealight like fondue) with crudite vegetables and bread to dip in.
  2. Alternatively, pour liberally over just-cooked British Asparagus, and maybe a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
All ingredients for this Bagna Cauda are available from mmm…
The lemons came from the Grainger Market.

More recipes from mmm…

Chickpea, kidney bean and spinach Shemins Pastes curry

Chickpea, kidney bean and spinach curry
Serves 4
A quick, easy and delicious curry using Shemins Pastes and other ingredients from mmm... (as well as spinach from our favourite greengrocer in the Grainger Market)
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium onion
  2. 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  3. 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  4. 100g of Shemins curry paste (we used the mild)
  5. 1 400g can of chickpeas
  6. 1 400g can of kidney beans
  7. 200g of fresh spinach
  8. Juice of half a lemon.
Instructions
  1. Fry the chopped onion until golden brown then add the tomatoes and curry paste.
  2. Simmer for 7-8 minutes (adding a little water if needed) then add the chickpeas, tomatoes and spinach.
  3. Cook for a few minutes then season to taste and add the juice of half a lemon.
  4. Serve with rice, naan or whatever you fancy.
Notes
  1. We had a jar of Mr Vikkis mango chutney to hand - well, you have to have a bit of mango chutney with a curry after all!
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/

Recipe courtesy of Shemins Pastes, which are available at mmm…

More Shemins’ recipes are available here.

More recipes from mmm…