In the Middle Eastern kitchen, pomegranate is widely used as a savory condiment, in the form of molasses (dibbis ruman made from a slightly more sour variety of pomegranates) and added, mainly in tomato based vegetable and meat stews, as a ‘finisher’ that gives stews that perfect balance of sweet and sour flavor. It’s quite easy to make pomegranate molasses at home if you’re in a pinch (lemon juice, sugar and fresh pomegranate juice) BUT it’s also labor intensive so just go buy some from your local Middle Eastern grocery (I like Sara’s Bakery and Market in Richarson, TX) or from the internet.
Coconut Pomegranate Pudding (makes around 4 small servings)
For the Coconut Pudding:
1 (14 ounce can) organic coconut milk
4 Tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
5 Tablespoons organic sugar
3 Tablespoons (tapioca flour/gluten free) or cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla or flower water
1. Toast the shredded coconut in a pan over medium heat and keep mixing until the coconut turns into a golden color. Set aside to add to the milk for added flavor
2. Stir coconut milk, sugar in a saucepan. Spoon a few tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture into a small bowl and stir cornstarch into the mixture to dissolve; pour into the mixture in the saucepan. Add the toasted coconut. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly; cook until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
3. Strain the coconut milk and discard the toasted coconut.
4. Pour the coconut milk mixture into small glasses or dessert bowls, cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold and firm.
5. Pour the pomegranate coulis (see below) on top of the firm coconut pudding and refrigerate till ready to eat. Decorate with pomegranate and pistachio if desired.
Pomegranate Molasses Coulis
¼ cup pomegranate molasses (dibbis ruman)
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate juice (freshly juiced if possible and not the sour variety)
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons tapioca flour or cornstarch
In a small saucepan on low to medium heat, place the pomegranate molasses and sugar. Make a slurry (mix the cornstarch with the juice) and add to the saucepan. Continue stirring till thick. Close the heat and wait for the pomegranate coulis to cool down to room temperature. Pour the coulis over the coconut pudding and chill till ready to serve.