Fesenjan or Fesenjoon is one of the most famous and classic Persian dishes. It is traditionally cooked with ground walnuts, pomegranate paste, chicken, or meatballs. If you enjoy the sweet-sour flavor, then this walnut and pomegranate stew recipe is for you.
About This Recipe
Cooked chicken pieces, covered in walnut and pomegranate paste sauce, topped with pomegranate seeds, and paired with steamed saffron rice! When you talk about Persian foods, there are a few dishes that always pop into your mind. Certainly, Kabab Koobideh, Ghormeh Sabzi, and Khoresht Gheimeh are at the top of this list. If you want to know Iranian cuisine, be sure to try Fesenjan stew. The origin of this stew goes back to the Gilan region in the north of Iran. In the Fesenjan stew recipe, chicken (sometimes tiny meatballs) is cooked with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste. Pomegranate paste will give a sweet and sour flavor to the stew. You can adjust the amount of sweetness or sourness of this stew by adding a little sugar or pomegranate juice according to your taste.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: You don’t need to have a lot of experience in Persian cuisine to cook a delicious Fesenjan stew. By following the recipe step by step, you will definitely get amazing results and surprise everyone at the dinner table.
- Uses pantry ingredients: This stew is one of our favorite family meals! An easy stew made with basic pantry ingredients. Packed with nutrients with a straightforward recipe.
What You Need to Make Fesenjoon
- Walnuts: Ground walnut kernels are used to cook this stew. Put the walnuts in a food processor and grind them down to crumbs.
- Pomegranate Paste: Pomegranate paste is used to cook many Iranian dishes such as sour chicken, kebab, and Fesenjan. The taste of this stew largely depends on whether the pomegranate paste is sour or sweet.
- Yellow Onion: Onions should be finely chopped or grated.
- Chicken: Walnut stew is cooked with both chicken and meatballs. Both recipes are very tasty.
- Sugar: As I said, this stew has a sour and sweet taste and it depends on the taste of the pomegranate paste that is used for cooking. If you want the stew to taste sweeter, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Spices: The combination of spices used to cook this stew is salt, turmeric, and black pepper.
- Marinate chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, turmeric, and bloomed saffron, then fry in a saucepan with a very small amount of oil until golden.
- Chop or grate the onions and saute in another pan with some oil to soften the onion texture, then add turmeric and saute for another 1- 2 minutes.
- Add ground walnuts to the chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add 3 – 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Half an hour later, add pomegranate paste, sugar, salt, and pepper to the simmering walnuts and let them simmer for a few minutes.
- After the stew is smooth with the ingredients you added, add the chicken pieces.
- Cover and let the stew cook over low heat for a few hours.
- Leave the stew to settle and then serve with saffron rice.
Pro Tips to Make Fesenjan Stew
- To have a well-cooked stew, put the stew over low heat or use a slow cooker.
- You can use chicken thighs or breasts, it’s completely up to you.
- Adding pomegranate paste and sugar makes the color of the stew darker.
- This stew has a sour and sweet taste and it depends on the taste of the pomegranate paste that is used for cooking. If you want the stew to taste sweeter, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar. If you prefer a sour taste, ignore adding sugar.
- Also, the sourness or sweetness of Fesenjan stew depends on the type of paste you used in the cooking process.
- Adding bloomed saffron gives a good flavor and aroma to the food.
- You can cook chicken or meat separately with onion and some water and then add it to the mixture of walnut and pomegranate paste.
- The walnuts themselves release enough oil when heated, so be careful not to use too much oil for frying onions.
- In the final minutes of cooking, add bloomed saffron, which gives it a unique aroma and color.
- Do not rush to serve this dish because it takes about 4 to 5 hours for your stew to settle and be ready.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Fesenjoon?
The cooking process of Fesenjan takes 4 to 5 hours. However, some people cook this stew in an instant pot to reduce the cooking time. But I do not recommend this method because I think Iranian stews should be cooked on low heat to set.
You can cook this stew with vegan meatballs. Prepare the meatballs with any combination you like, fry them with a little oil, and then add them to the stew.
Fesenjan Recipe With Meatballs
Meatballs made with a mix of pepper, salt, onion, and ground beef. Super easy to come together and tastes incredible! In a bowl, mix the grated onion, minced meat, salt, and pepper. Then make small meatballs. Saute meatballs for about 10 to 15 minutes until nicely browned then add them to the stew.
Can you cook Fesenjan with other nuts?
As you know the base of Fesenjan stew is walnut, but you can replace the walnut with almonds. Our suggestion is to, cook this stew with one-third of almonds and two-thirds of walnuts. But if you want to use just almonds for cooking Fesenjan skin almonds and place them in the mixer to thoroughly crumble.
What to Serve with Fesenjoon?
You can serve Fesenjoon stew with a bowl of salad Shirazi, Sabzi Khordan(fresh herb platter), or a bowl of plain yogurt mixed with mint.
Did you like the Fesenjan stew recipe? Leave your comment below and If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photos #yummynotes
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- 4 chicken pieces
- 200g (1¾ cups) walnuts, finely ground
- 2 medium-sized onion, minced or finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate paste, plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons hot water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Vegetable Oil
Rinse the chicken pieces and put them in a strainer to drain the water. Marinate chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, turmeric, and bloomed saffron, then fry in a saucepan with a very small amount of oil until golden.
Chop or grate the onions and saute in another pan with some oil to soften the onion texture, then add turmeric and saute for another 1- 2 minutes.
Add ground walnuts to the chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add 3 - 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
Half an hour later, add pomegranate paste, sugar, salt, and pepper to the simmering walnuts and let them simmer for a few minutes.
After the stew is smooth with the ingredients you added, add the chicken pieces. Add a little more water if needed.
Cover and let the stew cook over low heat for a few hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Leave the stew to settle and then serve with saffron rice.
most of the time we eat fesenjoon in winter
Best khoresht I have ever seen