Category Archives: Basics

Somogh (Sumac)

Somogh (also written as Sumac, Sumak, Sumaq, Somoc)  is an exotic Persian spice with a slight tart lemon flavor.  It is often sprinkled on kabob and rice dishes adding beautiful color and extra flavor to the final presentation.

Widely available in any ethnic market, some of the larger grocery stores in the cultural aisle and even sold at Williams Sonoma.

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Pomegranate Molassas (Robb-e-Anar)

Pomegranate Molassas (Robb-e-Anar) is a tart flavored thick syrup made from concentrated pomegranate juice and often combined with sugar and fresh lemon juice.  It is most widely used for making fesenjoon stew (chicken and ground walnuts).  Pomegranate Molasses can also be used as a beverage flavoring – simply add one tablespoon of molassas plus one tablespoon of sugar to a glass of still or sparkling water.  Add a shot of vodka and a slice of lime for a delicious and refreshing cocktail!

You can purchase pomegranate molassas from any Persian, middle eastern or ethnic store.  Or buy online from Sadaf priced at $2-$5 per bottle. 

Pomegranate Tart Molasses 10 fl. oz.

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Zereshk

Zereshk are tart and lightly sweet berries used in Persian cuisine.  Also labeled ‘barberries,’ zereshk is typically paired with chicken and rice dishes.   Zereshk jam, zereshk juice, and zereshk fruit rolls are also popular treats produced with zereshk berries.

Always wash zereshk before using.  Small rocks, twigs and dirt get lodged in the packaging and should be removed carefully.  Rinse zereshk several times in a bowl of cool water and discard any debris that falls to the bottom of the bowl.

When using zereshk in dishes, sautee in vegetable oil or butter for 2-3 min or heat using a microwave oven for one minute.  This will soften the dried barberries and bring out the tart flavor.

Iranian, middle eastern, or ethnic stores usually carry zereshk berries in a dried form.

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