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 flavor and a hint of sweetness.
Patience is Key
The shopping list is short and the cooking steps are simple. It can be cooked fast. Though, the heavenly taste sensation develops only with patience.
Pomegranate Molasses DIY
Pomegranate molasses is easy to make at home from store bought pomegranate juice:
Cook 4 cups of pomegranate juice (100%) with 2 tbsp sugar over low heat for about 2 hours until it reduces to 1 cup of thick syrup. Stir frequently.
For a change, you can substitute pomegranate juice with cranberry juice.
- Substitute chicken with duck, beef meatballs,
leftover turkey, or lamb stew.
- Omit chicken and pour sauce over fried eggplants or
baked root vegetables
The Fesenjan Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:
Turmeric, cinnamon, orange peel, cardamom, rosebud
Persian Khoresh Fesenjan
- 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
- salt & pepper
Fesenjan Culinary Spice Kit
- Turmeric cinnamon, orange peel, cardamom, rosebud
- 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.
- 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.