Delectable Persian Delight: Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)


Immerse yourself in the rich and exotic flavors of Fesenjan, a classic Persian stew that combines the tartness of pomegranates with the earthiness of walnuts. This luxurious dish is a festive favorite, often reserved for special occasions, and is known for its deep, complex flavors. Perfectly paired with steamed rice, Fesenjan offers a taste of Persian culinary artistry that will captivate your senses.

Delectable Persian Delight: Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 400 kcal
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fat: 28g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 700mg


  • 500g (1.1 lbs) chicken thighs or breast, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200g (7 oz) walnuts, finely ground
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional, to adjust tartness)

Method of Preparation

Finely grind the walnuts using a food processor until they form a coarse paste. Set aside.

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides.
  3. Sprinkle turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper over the chicken. Stir well to coat the chicken with the spices.
  4. Add the ground walnuts to the pot and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour in the pomegranate juice, chicken broth, and pomegranate molasses. Stir well to combine.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The stew should thicken and the flavors should meld beautifully.
  7. Taste the stew and adjust the tartness with sugar if desired. Add more salt or pepper if needed.
  8. Serve the Fesenjan hot, accompanied by steamed basmati rice.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Use fresh pomegranate juice for the best flavor. Bottled juice can be used, but make sure it's unsweetened.
  • The key to a rich Fesenjan is the slow cooking of walnuts, which releases their natural oils and deepens the flavor.
  • Adjust the tartness by adding sugar gradually. The balance of sweet and sour is essential for authentic Fesenjan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use other meats instead of chicken?

  • Yes, Fesenjan can be made with duck, lamb, or even beef. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the meat is tender.

Is there a vegetarian version of Fesenjan?

  • Absolutely! Substitute the chicken with vegetables like eggplant or mushrooms and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

What can I use if I can't find pomegranate molasses?

  • You can reduce pomegranate juice by simmering it until thick and syrupy as a substitute for pomegranate molasses.

Indulge in the luxurious flavors of Fesenjan, a Persian masterpiece that brings the festive spirit of Iran to your table. With its rich, tangy, and nutty notes, this stew is not just a meal but a celebration of Persian culinary tradition.