Fesenjan: Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Stew

I ate many Persian dishes as a child and to this day love anything Middle Eastern, including Fesenjan. I was looking through some recipes that I had saved on my computer and came across one that several Persian dishes (which will be up here in the future!), but did not have one for this dish, so after some digging I found two blogs: Family Spice and Minimalist Baker which both featured versions of this delicious sounding stew. 


I love stew, and this stew is amazing. It is sweet and tangy, rich and smooth. It’s perfect for any occasion, from a simple dinner for two to a large celebration. The only downside of this dish is it goes too quickly. 


I served this with some wild red rice and a simple parsley salad and boy, was it more then enough. I think it may be time for a long nap…


Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Servings
  • 1 Large onion chopped coarsely
  • 1 Cup walnuts roasted
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 2 Cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Cup rice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Pomegranate arils for
  • garnish
  • Parsley for garnish
  1. Roast walnuts on baking pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and set to cool.
  2. Puree onion and cooled walnuts. Make sure they are completely blended smooth.
  3. Add onion/walnut mixture to large skillet and smooth out over the bottom of pan. Cook on medium heat, wait until mixture begins to brown on the bottom, mix up then smooth out again. Keep checking back every 5 minutes or so and mix up and smooth. Cook until it became thicker and almost to dehydrated state. This is the longest and hardest part of the recipe. It can take a couple of hours for it to reach this stage. Turn down heat to simmer and watch to make sure it does not burn. (see second picture)
  4. Next take the chicken breast and wash them off in water, pat them dry and set on board. Cut the chicken into cubes, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat up oil on medium-high heat and add chicken once heated. Brown pieces on all sides. Lower heat to simmer and cook chicken with covered lid.
  6. At this time if serving with rice this would be the time to make it.
  7. Turn your attention back to the onion/walnut mixture, add pomegranate juice  and honey and mix together. Turn heat up to low-medium and add in chicken. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately over rice garnished with some pomegranate arils and parsley.
Other options for protein is turkey breast, duck breast, firm tofu. It can also be served with quinoa, roasted or mashed potatoes.
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