Fesenjoon - Delicious Persian Walnut Pomegranate Stew | igotitfrommymaman.com
Chicken Dishes,  Persian Classics,  Persian Stews,  Uncategorized

Fesenjoon – Persian Walnut Pomegranate Stew

Khoresht-e Fesenjoon is a popular Persian dish – A rich walnut pomegranate stew! How it is prepared varies from region to region, actually every family prepares it a little differently I’m sure!

In the north of Iran people prefer it more sour, while in Tehran it is primarily prepared sweet and sour.

If you haven’t tried Iranian food before and would like to give it a go, this is a great recipe to start exploring Persian cuisine. I have noticed that it is a favourite amongst my European friends.

Fesenjoon is often made with chicken, but also tastes great with lamb, or duck. This time I gave it a little twist and turned it into “Pheasant-joon”, Fesenjoon-e Gharghavol. This lengthened the cooking time for me, as the wild pheasant’s meat is tougher than chicken for instance. Also I cooked them whole, which added even more to that. So if you wanna give this recipe a try with chicken, you should be able to cut down on quite a bit of cooking time.

Fesenjoon - Persian Walnut Pomegranate Stew | igotitfrommymaman.com

Ingredients

2 pheasants (1 kg / 2.2 lbs) or equal amount of chicken, duck, or lamb

300g walnuts (2 1/2 cups)

2 medium onions

6 tbsp pomegranate molasses (possibly more depending on the molasses you’re using)

3 to 5 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp sugar, or as much you like

0.5l water (2 cups)

Salt

Time

Prep: 5 min

Cook: 1.5 to 3h

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

I used two whole pheasants for my Fesenjoon. However you can use any part of any poultry or meat you like. Fry the poultry or meat from each side in 3 tbsp of hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.

Finely chop the onions and gently fry them in a shallow pan with a lid (which you’ll need later). Fry them for about 10 minutes in 2 tbsp vegetable oil over low to medium heat, until translucent. You can fry them in the oil you fried the meat in, if you like.

In the meantime transfer the walnuts into a food processor and process them into fine crumbs.

Get your Fesenjoon cooking

Add the walnut crumbs to the onions and combine them. Also add approx. 2 cups of freshly boiled water, turmeric, and black pepper and give it another stir. Bring it to boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

Submerge the pheasants into the stew und put on the lid. Let them simmer over medium heat until the walnut oil starts to appear on the surface of the stew. This may take 30 minutes, or more.

Because I cooked my pheasants whole, I turned them every 30 minutes or so to make sure they cook evenly.

You can now add the pomegranate molasses to the stew. The one I used is very thick and concentrated. I had to mix it with a little hot water to liquify it, so it would dissolve in the stew more easily.

Put the lid back on and let your Fesenjoon simmer until the poultry or meat is cooked. This can take anything from 50 minutes to 2.5h depending on the type and size of it.

Adjust the sweetness to your liking

Season with salt, and sugar if you like to go for the sweet and sour version. I added 3 tbsp sugar this time but how much you wanna use really depends on your personal preference. I recommend adding a bit, stirring and tasting until the balance between the sourness of the pomegranate molasses and the extra added sweetness from the sugar is to your liking.

About 40 minutes towards the end, start preparing your rice.

Once the poultry or meat is nice and tender, serve the Fesenjoon with delicious aromatic saffron rice. You can decorate it with pomegranate seeds, and/or pistachios to add some more colour to it.

Since I kept my pheasants whole for presentation purposes, I served the stew separately. If you cook your poultry or meat in chunks in your stew, you can of course serve it together as a delicious comforting stew. Enjoy!

Pheasant Fesenjoon with Saffron Rice | igotitfrommymaman.com

Fesenjoon – Walnut Pomegranate Stew

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Fesenjoon, pheasant, pomegranates, walnuts
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs (1kg) chicken, pheasant, lamb, or duck (I used 2 pheasants)
  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts (300g)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 tbsp pomegranate molasses (possibly more depending on the type you’re using)
  • 3 to 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp sugar (or as much as you like)
  • 2 cups water (480ml)
  • Salt

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

  1. I used two whole pheasants for my Fesenjoon. However you can use any part of any poultry or meat you like. Fry the poultry or meat from each side in 3 tbsp of hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.
  2. Finely chop the onions and gently fry them in a shallow pan with a lid (which you’ll need later). Fry them for about 10 minutes in 2 tbsp vegetable oil over low to medium heat, until translucent. You can fry them in the oil you fried the meat in, if you like.
  3. In the meantime transfer the walnuts into a food processor and process them into fine crumbs.

Get your Fesenjoon cooking

  1. Add the walnut crumbs to the onions and combine them. Also add approx. 2 cups of freshly boiled water, turmeric, and black pepper and give it another stir. Bring it to boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Submerge the pheasants into the stew und put on the lid. Let them simmer over medium heat until the walnut oil starts to appear on the surface of the stew. This may take 30 minutes, or more.
  3. Because I cooked my pheasants whole, I turned them every 30 minutes or so to make sure they cook evenly.
  4. You can now add the pomegranate molasses to the stew. The one I used is very thick and concentrated. I had to mix it with a little hot water to liquify it, so it would dissolve in the stew more easily.
  5. Put the lid back on and let your Fesenjoon simmer until the poultry or meat is cooked. This can take anything from 50 minutes to 2.5h depending on the type and size of it. 

Adjust the sweetness to your liking

  1. Season with salt, and sugar if you like to go for the sweet and sour version. I added 3 tbsp sugar this time but how much you wanna use really depends on your personal preference. I recommend adding a bit, stirring and tasting until the balance between the sourness of the pomegranate molasses and the extra added sweetness from the sugar is to your liking.
  2. About 40 minutes towards the end, start preparing your rice.

  3. Once the poultry or meat is nice and tender, serve the Fesenjoon with delicious aromatic saffron rice. You can decorate it with pomegranate seeds, and/or pistachios to add some more colour to it. 

  4. Since I kept my pheasants whole for presentation purposes, I served the stew separately. If you cook your poultry or meat in chunks in your stew, you can of course serve it together as a delicious comforting stew. Enjoy!

I hope you had fun with this recipe! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you asap.

If you wanna save this recipe for later, you can print the printable version above, or pin it to your recipe board on Pinterest!

I’d love to see how your Fesenjoon turned out! Tag me with @igotitfrommymaman on Facebook or Insta and let me have a look!

You can find more classic Persian recipes here!

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