Making Fesenjoon

Category Iranian
Fesenjoon is an Iranian/Persian dish served in the fall and winter. The recipe can vary a little, but the main ingredients are finely chopped walnuts and pomegranate molasses. This delicious stew can be made with duck, chicken, small meatballs, and even pumpkin. The recipe for a version made with chicken follows. You will love the rich, sweet and sour, flavor.


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I've promised my family's recipe for this delightful, rich stew to so many people. I thought I'd direct them here to ThriftyFun (because you will want to know how to make this, too). There really isn't anything like Fesenjoon. It is is an ancient Persian dish that has very forward-thinking textures and flavours. The pomegranate makes it sweet and sour, while the walnut makes it rich and smooth. It's made to go with Basmati rice. Please give this a try!

Please see the attached link for my recipe for the Persian spice mix used in this recipe. You can also use regular allspice in its place.

Total Time: 90 minutes

Link: Recipe for Persian spice mix


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (bones included)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Persian spice mix or standard allspice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • water
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp tomato paste (heaping)
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Chop the walnuts as finely as possible, preferably in a food processor. Set aside.
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  3. Finely chop the onion.
  4. Add oil to a pan over medium heat and fry the onions until lightly browned.
  5. Remove all the skin and fat from the chicken pieces.
  6. Add the chicken pieces, turmeric, allspice, and salt to the onions.
  7. Add enough water to cover everything in the pot, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes, until chicken is tender.
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  9. In a nonstick pan over medium-low heat, toast the walnuts for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Do not use any oil for this.
  10. Add the pomegranate molasses and tomato paste to the walnuts, cook for a couple minutes while stirring.
  11. In a large pot, add the walnut mixture and just the broth you made from the chicken.
  12. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer on low. Cover and cook for one hour.
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  14. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, covered.
  15. Because walnuts are high in oil content, you can spoon the layer of oil out from the top and save it for other cooking purposes or salad dressings.
  16. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if desired, and serve with Basmati rice.
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