Saturday, February 19, 2011

Khoresh-e Fesenjun - Persian pomegranate and walnut chicken

This dish was a test for me- I attempted cooking it this based solely on the description. I'm not sure if this is an accurate interpretation of the much loved Iranian dish but I love the taste of pomegranate molasses and the walnut adds a richness to the dish which makes for a deliciously satisfying meal.

400g raw walnut halves
4-6 cups water
1 cup pomegranate paste or molasses
1 onion, diced or grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 piece of cinnamon bark or stick
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
500-750g chicken (4-6 pieces- or you can use duck)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3-4 saffron threads
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp golpar (optional, available from spice and nut stores)
1 tbs barberries (my twist not authentic) 

1. Toast walnuts in dry frying pan over medium-low heat shaking the pan frequently for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove the nuts from the heat and grind them in a food processor.
2. Dry roast spices in a frying pan over low-medium heat until they smell fragrant, then place them in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder. Stir in the turmeric and set aside.
3.Warm the oil in a large, heavy pot on medium heat and add the onion. Saute the onion for 5 minutes or until soft, then add the spice mix and salt and stir well to combine.
4. Add chicken and brown for a few minutes per side until lightly golden.
5. Add the walnuts and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and continue to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add cold water and cook for a further 30 minutes. The meat should start to come away easily when pulled apart.
8. If the taste is too sour add 1-2 tbs of sugar to balance. When ready, it should have a rich earthy colour and deep fragrance.
9. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve with white jasmine rice.


  1. Oh yum! when am i going to get to eat that hmm? guess i'll have to make it myself...lucky i got the pomegranate molasses on hand. what the dickens is golpar though???

  2. Hey Anthie> Don't worry I'll make it again so you can try it out. I think duck would suit it better too or even goat?

    Golpar is persian for ground Angelica seeds similar to coriander/fennel. I didn't add it but there's versions which include it.



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