One of the most traditional and widely eaten Persian dishes is called “Fesenjan.” Fesenjan stew, Khoresh Fesenjan, or Fesenjun, has various kinds and food varieties. It’s cooked with ground nuts such as pistachio, almond, and hazelnut, along with beef or poultry like turkey, duck, chicken, rooster, etc.
Pomegranate juice or paste is the famous flavor of Fesenjan, but people in different regions use other flavors such as verjuice, sour yogurt, and such things. Fesenjan with ground walnut and Persian pomegranate-made is the formal style, which is more common and widespread than other kinds.
In Persian nutritious tradition, very ancient until now, foods containing meat, nuts, seeds, or even fruits are considered 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.
An essential tip in the past was to use 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, a horseshoe is also used in the dish or a piece of melted iron.
In Guilan and Mazandaran province, another food is cooked. “Anar Bij” or “Sange Khoresht” is very similar to Fesenjan, but the difference is that they use local vegetables, 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 the pomegranate paste. The people of different areas of Iran consider Fesenjan a hot-natured food, that’s why it’s much more delicate in the fall and winter seasons.
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History of Khoresh Fesenjan
The history of Khoresh Fesenjan dates back to ancient Persia, where it was considered a luxurious dish reserved for special occasions. It is believed to have originated in the northern regions of Iran, particularly among the Guilani people. Over time, fesenjan has become a beloved and iconic dish in Iranian cuisine, showcasing the region’s rich flavors and culinary traditions.
In the past, Fesenjan was made with partridge; the Fesenjan cooking process was long and complex, and the ingredients were not available to all. Fesenjan was, therefore, called a luxurious food because of the material and the prolonged cooking time. Although now it’s not that luxurious anymore, everyone considers it a perfect and luxurious dish.
Khoresh Fesenjan is a thick, hearty stew made with ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, and chicken or duck. The combination of these ingredients creates a unique sweet and tangy flavor that is often paired with rice or bread. Today, Khoresh Fesenjan has become a staple dish in Iranian households and is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds, both in Iran and worldwide.
How to Cook Khoresh Fesenjan?
To cook Khoresh Fesenjan, you will need a few key ingredients and follow a specific cooking process. First, gather ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, chicken or duck, onions, and spices such as turmeric and cinnamon. Then, begin by sautéing the onions in oil until they are golden brown. Next, add the ground walnuts and cook them until they release their oils and become fragrant. After that, add the chicken or duck pieces and brown them on all sides. Finally, pour in the pomegranate molasses, spices, and enough water.
Khoresh Fesenjan Ingredients:
- Chicken slices, as much as needed.
- Pomegranate paste, two tablespoons.
- Ground walnut (based on the number of chicken slices varies).
- Persian hogweed. A bit.
- Cinnamon. a bit.
- Steamed saffron rice as a side dish.
- Garlic and onion, one small
Recipe for Khoresh Fesenjun:
1. The first step is to toast two cups of walnuts as the sauce’s foundation. It is crucial that you use fresh, non-bitter walnuts in this recipe.
2. The toasted walnuts should be ground.
3. If chicken is being used, cut it into bite-sized pieces, brown it, and then set it aside. Remember that chickpeas will keep this vegan!
4. Make the onions and garlic caramelize. Give it some time. The flavor develops in this area.
5. Add the aromatic spices and toast them briefly to enhance the flavor. Orange zest has now been added.
6. Add the pomegranate paste.
7. Add the chicken, stock, and ground walnuts, and cook for 45 minutes with the lid on.
8. Cook the stew, uncovered, until it thickens and the oil on top starts to shimmer.
9. Add fresh pomegranate and parsley as a garnish.
Serve this dish over Tah Dig (Persian rice) or basmati rice flavored with saffron.
How Do I Serve Khoresh Fesenjan?
Khoresh Fesenjan can be served as a main dish with a side of bread or as part of an enormous Persian feast. With marble beans of a true Persian pomegranate on top and golden saffron–infused chicken breasts inside a fragranced brownish Pomegranate sauce, it is a rich and flavorful dish that will impress.
To enhance the presentation, you can sprinkle some crushed walnuts on top of the Khoresh Fesenjan. The combination of the crunchy walnuts and the creamy sauce adds an extra layer of texture to the dish. Additionally, serving it with a side of yogurt or pickled vegetables can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the flavors.
What to Pair Fesenjan as Appetizers And Desserts?
Khoresh Fesenjan is super tasty and healthy food, and it goes well with Shirazi salad, a touch of garlic, or a slice of onion. As we always mention, it’s something based on your own taste, but we offer Miraza Qasemi, which is smoked eggplants, egg, tomato, a touch of garlic, and pickled vegetables served with bread.
We recommend Bastani, a traditional Persian ice cream made with saffron, pistachios, rose petals, and rose water for dessert. For some more recipes, you can go through Shish Andaaz, which 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. We take pride in our diverse menu options that cater to different dietary preferences, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a delicious meal at Naaz. Our attentive staff is always ready to assist you in selecting the perfect dish for your taste buds. Come and experience the rich flavors of Persian cuisine at Naaz today!
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In the Persian dish Fesenjan, chicken thighs or breasts are simmered for a long time with ground walnuts roasted and pomegranate molasses.
Fesenjn is a complex meal that is frequently saved for significant events. In the Persian proverb, “he behaves as if he has had partridge and fesenjn,” which means to brag or act pretentiously, it is referred to as “a rich man’s dish.”
For the pomegranate confiture, you can use 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, and 1/4 cup of honey if you don’t have the time or access to fresh pomegranates.
The ingredients for one of the most famous Persian dishes still consumed today, Fesenjoon, were discovered on stone tablets dating back to 515 B.C. at the ruins of Persepolis, the former capital of the Persian Empire. Fesenjoon belongs on any table and to any event, from weddings to daily dinners.
Fesenjan contains a lot of manganese. Fesenjan weighs 3.5 ounces (102 grams) and has 338 calories.