Pomegranate Walnut Stew

Fesenjan, or pomegranate walnut stew is a classic Persian sweet and sour stew, which is often featured on special occasions. Its robust flavour comes from the blend of rich ground walnuts and tart pomegranate syrup. Served on a bed of rice and decorated with jewel-like pomegranate seeds it makes a stunning addition to any holiday table. Somehow, the times I think to prepare this dish are the days that follow many holidays. There are two holidays in particular that come to mind; Thanksgiving and Christmas. These holidays usually have one common ingredients; turkey. I use this as an excuse to extend my holiday meals and use the leftover meat to prepare this glorious dish. It’s a great way to diversify leftovers meals, I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets sick of cold-turkey sandwiches after the first 5 or so. If you happen to stumble across this dish before a large holiday do not wait until you have a supply of leftovers. Simply purchase the same quantity of fresh meat. Traditionally dark meat is used like duck or rabbit but chicken makes a great substitute if you want to start with something more familiar. This recipe can also be prepared as a vegan dish. I often exclude the meat and I don’t even miss it. Just reduce the amount of water you add to the stew.

Pomegranate Walnut Stew
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 30 minutes
Pomegranate Walnut Stew
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Roast raw walnuts on a frying pan over medium heat. Toss occasionally and remove from stove once aromatic and golden brown.
  2. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse into a coarse-fine texture.
  3. Over medium heat drizzle grape-seed oil in a large frying pan. Mince the onions and sauté them until translucent.
  4. If you are using leftovers, chop it roughly and combine the meat to the onions. If you are using raw meat, similarly chop into pieces and add to the onions. Continue to stir until all morsels of meat are golden brown on all surfaces.
  5. Optional: If you have leftover roast pumpkin/squash/sweet potato I recommend you use it. Quickly blend in the food processor and set it aside for the next step.
  6. Add the ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, squash (optional), turmeric and salt to the onion and meat mixture. Stir well.
  7. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil then follow by reducing it to a simmer, uncovered. Add more water as needed, you want a thick slightly runny sauce.
  8. Prepare the brown basmati rice. In a pot add 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered then reduce to a simmer and cover for approx. 25 minutes.
  9. The most tedious task may be to peel the pomegranate. Score the skin of the fruit with a paring knife as you would an orange. I usually score a circle on the top end of the pomegranate and score 2 slices down and around. Peel the top off and then carefully crack the fruit in half and then into quarters. Gently separate the seeds (arils) from the skin membrane.
  10. Lastly, mince the parsley for your garnish.
Recipe Notes
This recipe can be frozen, however, I doubt you'll have trouble finishing it.
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