One of the traditional and common Persian dishes is called “Fesenjan”. It has various kinds. It’s cooked with ground nuts such as pistachio, almond and hazelnut along with beef or poultry like turkey,duck, chicken,rooster and stuff like that. Pomegranate juice or paste is the famous flavor of Fesenjan,but the people in different regions use other flavors such as verjuice,sour yoghurt and such things. Fesenjan with ground walnut is the formal style one, more common and more popular than other kinds of it.
In the past, Fesenjan was made with partridge, also the cooking process was long and difficult and the ingredients were not available for all. Fesenjan was called a luxurious food, although now it’s not that much luxurious anymore but everyone consider it as a perfect and luxurious dish. In Persian nutritious tradition, very ancient till now, the foods containing meat, nuts or seeds or even fruits are considered as deluxe foods. The use of such compound dishes dates back to ancient Persia. Based on Nader Mirza’s recipe, except pomegranate paste or juice, white grape syrup, spice, Persian hogweed, eggs, fried eggplants, verjuice, cornelian cherry and sour cherry were among other ingredients to cook Fesenjan.
The important tip in the past was the use of iron in the dish while cooking. This way of cooking Fesenjan is still common in some areas. You know why?! In order to make Fesenjan black or better to say darker, horseshoe is also used in the dish or a piece of melted iron. In Guilan and Mazandaran province, another food is cooked. “Anar Avij” or “Sange Khoresht” that is very similar to Fesenjan but the difference is that they use local vegetables in it plus parsley, mint, leek and coriander. The Guilani people usually prefer the sour taste of Fesenjan. That’s why they use pomegranate juice or paste in it while in Tehran, people prefer a sweet-sour taste. So, they add sugar to pomegranate paste. The people of different areas of Iran consider Fesenjan a hot- nature food, that’s why it’s much more delicate in fall and winter.
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The ingredients of Fesenjan
- Chicken slices >>> as much as needed
- Pomegranate paste >>> 2 tablespoon
- Tomato paste >>> 1 tablespoon
- Ground walnut (based on the number of chicken slices varies)
- Persian hogweed>>> a bit
- Cinnamon>>> a bit
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how to cook Fesenjan
First of all, mix pomegranate paste and tomato paste in cold water. Let it boil for some minutes. Add chicken slices. Let the chicken bake completely. Remove chicken and add ground walnut. Add ice to the walnut immediately and let it release oil after about 3 hours. The important point is that you shouldn’t add hot water, instead you must pour cold water in it. Add chicken slices afterwards. Before turning off the heat, pour a bit of cinnamon and Persian hogweed in order to have a more fragrant Fesenjan.
What to pair
Fesenjan is a super tasty food and it goes well with Shirazi salad, a touch of garlic or a slice of onion.
Appetizer and dessert
As we always mention, it’s something based on your own taste but we do offer Miraza Qasemi that is smoked eggplants, egg, tomato, a touch of garlic with pickled vegetables served with bread. For dessert, we recommend Bastani that is traditional Persian ice cream, saffron, pistachio, rose petal and rose water. For further recipes, you can go through Shish Andaaz that is another version of Fesenjan but dedicated to our vegan fans.
Never miss stepping into Naaz to try our dishes one after another and recommend us to your friends and family.