Fesenjan (Iranian Special Occasion Dish)

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by KerryBnTX

I had this marvelous dish in a Mediterranean Cafe. The fragrance is wonderful and the taste sublime. There has been quite a bit of discussion on this recipe. I would like to clarify that I have had this dish only twice at one restaurant and that I have never actually made the dish. I enjoyed it so much I searched and found this recipe online, it is not original by me. I do not find the one star review helpful. That it doesn't taste like grandma's does not mean it is a bad recipe. As for the use of Garlic, I know nothing of regional Iranian dishes, but I love garlic in most anything!

Top Review by norcaljohnny

only thing i would recommend as a persian is do not finely chop the walnuts, the give a burnt taste after that long of simmering, you whatever method to get the walnuts into 1/4in pieces/

besides that its a good recipe from the looks and also i want to say for the persian grandma comment that you sound more arab than persian. grandmas is the best and grandam doesnt share with grandchild...that sounds like no persian culture i know. the owner sharing the recipe with the guest review is the persians i know. this does not deserve one star by any means.

also i would like to thank all non persians for trying out persian food which seem to always bring people closer, if youre open minded and hearted.

cheers for sharing!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat butter or oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Add onions and sauté until wilted and translucent.
  3. Add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and sauté, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in walnuts, pomegranate syrup, stock, sugar, salt, pepper and saffron.
  5. Adjust sugar and salt to taste.
  6. Bring to a low boil and simmer 1/2 hour.
  7. Add chicken and simmer on low heat another 30-60 minutes.
  8. Halfway through the cooking time, add the lime juice to taste.
  9. The sauce will thicken and darken during this cooking time, and the oil will begin to render out of the walnuts.
  10. Add water or stock if necessary to prevent the sauce from thickening too much and scorching.
  11. Serve with plain white rice.
  12. NOTES Fesenjan is special occasion food in Iran.
  13. It is traditionally made with duck or pheasant in the north of the country along the Caspian sea.
  14. It is a thick, rich, sweet-sour dish that improves in flavor the next day.
  15. Pomegranate syrup is available in most Middle Eastern and health food stores.
  16. If it is unavailable, you can use an equal amount of frozen, concentrated cranberry juice.
  17. The flavor is roughly the same.
  18. You can use a whole bone-in chicken if you like.
  19. Cut it into 8 serving pieces and remove most of the skin.
  20. The bones will give the dish a richer flavor.

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