Fesanjan

Matt McAllaster uses chicken in this traditional Iranian meat and walnut stew, which is given a sour kick with pomegranate molasses
Fesanjan
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into quarters
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 2 handfuls shelled walnuts
  • 500 ml chicken stock or water
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 100 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 1 lemon, juice only (optional)

To serve

  • mixed salad
  • Persian rice

Tips and Suggestions

For the meat, you can use boneless chicken, duck, lamb meatballs or even pheasant.. The only thing you need to do some specialised shopping for is the pomegranate syrup or molasses, which can be found in most Middle Eastern grocers.

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

2. Add the thinly sliced onion to the pan and fry over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown and caramelised. Add the spices and stir through.

3. Meanwhile, blend the walnuts in a food processor to a sandy consistency and add to the pan, along with the browned chicken pieces and the stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid on, for 30 minutes.

4. Add the sugar, to taste, and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the pomegranate molasses. Cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

5. If the stew is too sweet, add a squeeze of lemon juice and adjust the seasoning. Serve the stew with a mixed salad and Persian rice on the side.

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