This sensational dish, is one of the traditional Persian stew or khoresh. Fesenjaan was a ceremonial dish in ancient Iran in the era of the Sassanian empire (224-651 AD) as new year meal.
It is basically made with duck, chicken, turkey,beef or lamb meat. Sometimes made with meatballs as well. In some areas, It has sweet taste and in other areas has sweet-sour taste. Fesenjan is a luxurious, and expensive dish and is served with rice ( polo/pilaf).Fesenjan usually comes to Persian table in especial events/occasions and in cold weather that is actually pomegranate season.
Fesenjan or Fesenjoon is a dish with walnut and pomegranate molasses. You can purchase pomegranate molasses from your local shops or Middle East markets. This molasses is great as a salad topping as well.Fesenjan originally came from North of Iran (Gilan province) near Caspian Sea but is one of favourits in all over the Iran.
Due to the cooking method, it may have sweet or sour taste. For instance in Gilan and Northern part of Iran, Fesenjan made with duck/chicken or turkey and has sour taste but in other cities it has sweet taste rather than sour and made with diced lamb/beef or tiny meat balls.
Due to warming nature of this dish, it is popular in the Fall/Winter seasons.
2 large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped finely
200 g ground walnut
2 cups of pomegranate molasses
3 tbs sugar ( this amount is adjustable: base on your prefer can be more or less)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of chilli pepper
1 tbs saffron water
In a dry pan, over a low heat roast ground walnut and stir it frequently and don’t leave it , because if it burns, taste will change. roast it for about 8-10 minutes until it is golden. Then, dissolve 2 chicken stock cubes in 3 cups of water, pour it over the walnuts. Cover the pot with a lid and let it to cook on low heat for 5 minutes more.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, once hot, add chopped onions. Stirring occasionally. Saute it until soft. Add chicken pieces to onions with some turmeric, that will take away meat smell. Once chicken meat is soft, add walnut sauce, pomegranate molasses, pinch of chilli powder and sugar. Stir it. Allow to cook over a low heat until desired thickness is reached. This dish has sour/sweet taste but yet it’s adjustable and if you prefer more sweet or sour taste, you can adjust seasons. Serve Fesenjan with polow and garnish it with pretty pomegranate seeds.
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