Persian Fesenjan

Persian Khoresh Fesenjan

Khoresh Fesenjan is one of the best dishes of the Persian cuisine and part of the dinner table on Shabe Yalda when families come together to celebrate the longest night of the year and the beginning of the winter. Walnuts and pomegranates give this stew its characteristic flavor: creamy richness with a tangy note and a hint of sweetness. The shopping list is short, and the cooking steps are simple. Yet, the heavenly taste sensation develops only with patience.
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 3


  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast or thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups walnut halves
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup pomegranate molasses*)
  • sugar honey, or syrup
  • oil
  • salt & pepper

Fesenjan Culinary Spice Kit

  • Turmeric cinnamon, orange peel, cardamom, rosebud

Suggested Sides

  • 4-6 cups basmati rice cooked
  • 1 cup fresh herbs chopped
  • cucumber, tomatoes, red radish sliced



  • Rub chicken on all sides with salt & pepper to taste and with Fesenjan spices.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • Fry onions for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken pieces and fry them on all sides until they turn brown. Set them aside.


  • 1) In a BLENDER, grind nuts.
  • In a large POT, add 3 cups of water and ground nuts. Mix well.
  • Cover. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Stir in salt and pomegranate molasses to taste. The flavor should be a bit tangy and a bit sweet. If the sauce appears sour, add a bit of sugar until it's just fine for you.
  • Add the chicken and onions.
  • Cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Serve Fesenjan with rice and optionally fresh herbs and/ or unseasoned vegetables.
  • Enjoy!


*) If you can’t buy pomegranate molasses substitute with cranberry sauce or make your own molasses with our online recipe.
  • Substitute chicken with lamb stew (cook 1.5 hours longer and add 1-2 cups of water), beef meatballs, duck breast, or leftover turkey.
  • Substitute the chicken with eggplants or root vegetables.
  • Substitute the walnuts with hazelnuts or almonds.