This beautiful pomegranate dessert is served to celebrate Yalda, the Iranian celebration of the winter solstice. Think of masghati as a cross between Jell-O and panna cotta. It's infinitely more refined and delicate than Jell-O and not quite as wobbly as panna cotta. Prepare pomegranate masghati a few hours in advance, and serve chilled out of the fridge for a light and refreshing dessert.

Source:, December 2019


Recipe Summary test

20 mins
6 hrs 20 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Set aside a 9- to 10-inch, 1- to 2-inch-deep serving dish (a regular pie plate works). Whisk 1 cup pomegranate juice with cornstarch in a small bowl until completely smooth, without any lumps; set aside.

  • Combine sugar and the remaining 2 cups pomegranate juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer (little bubbles start to appear on the sides) over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

  • Whisk the cornstarch mixture and add it to the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and start stirring immediately. Continue to stir until it starts to set, 2 to 5 minutes. Don't go anywhere during this process (the cornstarch sets quickly and can burn). You'll know the mixture is ready when it lightly coats the back of a spoon. You don't want it to get too thick, as it will keep setting as it cools. At the very last moment, add rose water (if using) and pomegranate seeds; stir to combine and remove from the heat.

  • Immediately pour the masghati into the serving dish and smooth the top. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, uncovered, to fully set and chill, 6 to 8 hours. Once chilled, garnish with pomegranate seeds, pistachios and rose petals, if desired, and serve cold.


Tip: This pomegranate masghati relies on the taste and quality of your pomegranate juice. Use good-quality, no-sugar-added pomegranate juice: Pom Wonderful brand or Trader Joe's Organic 100% pomegranate juice are two good options. Before preparing the masghati, taste the juice. Use the recommended sugar amount as a starting point; if your juice is particularly tart, add more sugar to taste, keeping in mind that the sugar shouldn't overwhelm the natural bright taste of the pomegranate.

To make ahead: Refrigerate, uncovered, for up to 24 hours.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup
149 calories; protein 0.6g; carbohydrates 37.2g; dietary fiber 0.4g; sugars 29.1g; fat 0.1g; vitamin c 0.7mg; folate 2.8mcg; calcium 21mg; iron 0.2mg; magnesium 1.1mg; potassium 17.6mg; sodium 16mg; added sugar 11g.

1 fruit, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 starch