Fesenjoon (Fesenjān)

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Fesenjoon (Fesenjān)

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1 kg duck breast or legs (2.2 lbs) or equal amount of chicken or lamb
300 g walnuts
2 medium onions
6 tbsp pomegranate molasses amount may vary slightly depending on the type of molasses you’re using
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp Sugar or as much you like
0.5l Water
  • Medium




Fesenjoon Stew is a rich Persian pomegranate walnut stew! It has a sweet and sour flavour and makes the perfect comfort food for the colder months! It can also be made with chicken or lamb, but in this recipe, I use duck.

How to Prep the ingredients:

  1. I used two duck breasts and four legs for my Fesenjoon stew. However, you can use any part of any poultry or meat you like. Fry the poultry or meat from each side in the hot vegetable oil until golden brown.
  2. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.
  3. Finely chop the onions and gently fry them in a shallow pan with a lid (which you’ll need later).
  4. Fry them for about 10 minutes in the same oil over low to medium heat, until translucent.
  5. In the meantime, transfer the walnuts into a food processor and process them into fine crumbs.

How to Cook the Fesenjoon:

  1. Add the walnut crumbs to the onions and combine them.
  2. Also add approx. 2 cups (0.5l) of freshly boiled water, turmeric, and black pepper and give it another stir. Bring it to boil, then reduce the heat to medium. 
  3. Submerge the duck or other meat/poultry into the stew und put on the lid. Let them simmer over medium heat until the walnut oil starts to appear on the surface of the stew. This may take 30 minutes, or more.
  4. You can now add the pomegranate molasses to the stew. The one I use is very thick and concentrated. I had to mix it with a little hot water to liquify it, so it would dissolve in the stew more easily.
  5. Put the lid back on and let your Fesenjoon stew simmer until the poultry or meat is cooked tender. With duck this should take another 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. About 40 minutes towards the end, start preparing your rice.

How to Adjust the Sweetness to your Liking:

  1. Season with salt, and sugar if you like to go for the sweet and sour version.
  2. I added 3 tbsp sugar this time but how much you want to use really depends on your personal preference. I recommend adding a bit, stirring and tasting until the balance between the sourness of the pomegranate molasses and the sweetness from the sugar tastes to your liking.
  3. Once the poultry or meat is nice and tender, serve the Fesenjoon stew with rice. You can decorate it with pomegranate seeds to add some more colour to it. Enjoy!


Prep: 10 min

Cook: 1h 45min


Hami Sharafi

Hami Sharafi is a chef, food blogger, and Persian food ambassador. Hami runs a blog under the name I got it from my maman, where he shares some incredibly enticing Iranian recipes. Check out our interview with Hami to learn more about his blog and Persian cuisine.

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