Fesenjoon - Walnut & Pomegranate Persian Stew

Here she is, my childhood favourite in all her glory. Meet fesenjoon. It's a deeply flavourful and tangy Persian stew with ground walnuts and pomegranate. It’s typically an autumn dish, but I mean, with lockdown, do seasons even exist at this point?!

Serve this with saffron-infused basmati rice and you have yourself a bowl of delicious comfort.

I took this recipe from my grandma and I find that it's a lot simpler than others as it skips some steps that I have found to be unnecessary e.g searing the chicken or frying the onions in advance. I honestly don't see a difference in the end result and you still end up with a gorgeous dish so it's a win-win. Also to add a little bulk and extra flavour, we always add a type of squash depending on the season (pumpkin, butternut squash, courgette/ zucchini) this also adds more creaminess and some extra nutrients win-win-win.

2 1/2 c toasted walnuts

450g/ 1 lb chicken pieces

2 c chicken broth

1 large red onion

1 medium courgette /zucchini

6 tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 tbsp maple syrup, or to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

On medium-low heat toast the walnuts, stirring every couple minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned (about 10 mins). While the walnuts get toasty, chop the onions and courgettes into pieces.