Tahini and Carob Molasses: Arabic PB&J

Tahini and Pomegranate Molasses: Arabic PB & J

Peanut butter and jelly, Arab-style. What does that look like? To me, it’s tahini and carob molasses, and you’ll kick me for not sharing this sooner.

If you’ve tried carob in the health-food context and didn’t love it (think carob as a chocolate replacement), stay with me. It tastes completely different as a rich, spoony syrup.

Though molasses may be more widely known for its roots in American and British cooking, Middle Easterners are no strangers to it. It comes in several varieties in the Arab world, including date, pomegranate, mulberry and carob, and is used widely in marinades, salad dressings and sweet treats like this one.

Tahini and Pomegranate Molasses: Arabic PB & J

Carob molasses, or dibs el kharrub in Arabic, is made by boiling the carob pod in water, then straining and slowly reducing the liquid to a sticky, ribbony, sweet-tart syrup. It lasts a lifetime and can be found in the aisles of your Middle Eastern grocer, usually rubbing shoulders with pomegranate molasses and rose water. There are a few links between carob and iron support for anemia/low iron sufferers like myself. Some studies link high antioxidant counts to both the carob and grapes used to make the molasses, as well as high vitamin content. Tahini is also rich in minerals and protein, which makes this an afternoon tea you can feel good about.

Normally, one would swirl (lustingly, of course, for dramatic effect), warm Arabic bread into the mixture. At the time of taking this photo, however, I couldn’t look past the divinely crusty ends of a sourdough loaf perched on our counter. Any bread will do, but if you have access to some fresh Arabic pita, I highly recommend that.

To make this simple but satisfying snack, ladle a few spoonfuls of tahini into a small plate or bowl, and drizzle over enough molasses to suit your tastebuds. Dive in with pinches of bread, a book, a cup of tea, a trashy movie, or whatever feels right.

  • Rosa

    A healthy combination. That is something I’ll have to try (I always have both ingredients in my pantry)…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Let me know how it goes!

  • Dixya Bhattarai RD

    i bought some carob powder impulsively at whole foods and now dont know what to do..any idea? on a side note – this version of PBJ looks decadent.

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Hi Dixya! I’ve actually had this carob “hot chocolate” drink bookmarked for a while: http://www.divinetaste.com/archives/hot-carob-drink/

      I’ve never made it, and I’m sure it tastes different to pure chocolate, but it may be worth a go. I bet you could also use it in cookies, brownies or cakes for a hint of its early chocolate flavor. I’d love to hear what you come up with!

  • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

    Oh my lord I miss carob molasses. Surely I’ll be able to find it somewhere here…

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Totally! Any Middle Eastern store would have it.

  • Asha Shivakumar

    This is something my kids would love. Looks so delicious. I need to go get me some carob molases which I have never tried. Interesting.

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      It’s a very interesting/unique ingredient, Asha, I think you’ll like it!

  • Tutti Dolci

    I love tahini, what a treat!

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Thanks, Laura! The carob really does make this feel like a treat.

  • Heidi Apples

    oh…oh…bravo. I LOVE this! The narrative too :) Must get some carob pods.
    Heidi xo

    • http://www.wanderingspice.com/ Yasmeen

      Thanks, love. I just re-read it actually and thought, “a trashy movie,” hm? Must have been what I really wanted at the time…

      • Heidi Apples

        haha love it, totally!

  • http://thehungryexcavator.com/ Winston

    This is awesome. So simple and satisfying. I bought a massive jar of molasses earlier this year to make my own BBQ sauce (which didn’t turn out good hahaha) and am still wondering what the heck to do with the rest of it. Your swirls are stunning am sure this tasted awesome!