Fesenjan: Persian Pomegranate Walnut Stew

Fesenjan:  Persian Pomegranate Walnut Stew

One of my favorite Persian dishes is Fesenjan.  When I first met my husband, he said this was one of the most difficult Persian dishes to make.  So, in true Lisa fashion, I took on the challenge.  I don’t think Fesenjan is difficult, but it does take a lot of time.  I only make this dish if I know I will be home for an entire afternoon and will be able to attend to the stove as needed.

I have probably made this dish ten times in the last couple of years.  It is my go-to when I want to provide a meal for guests.  Most of my friends and family have never heard of Fesenjan or tasted it before.  So, I love to introduce them to something new. Please try out the recipe below.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I promise you will enjoy it 🙂


Persian Pomegranate Walnut Stew with Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 cups walnuts raw, pieces or halved
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 6 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless, rinsed in water
  • 3 cups basmati rice cooked


  1. Grind walnuts in a food processor until the consistency is paste-like

  2. Scoop the walnut paste into a large pot and add 4 cups of cold water.  Mix well

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Allow mixture to boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer with pot partially covered

  4. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes  Using a wooden spoon, scrape the walnut paste off of the sides of the pot to keep it from adhering to the pot

  5. After the mixture has simmered for 1 hour, add 1 more cup of cold water.  Mix and simmer for an additional hour, with pot partially covered

  6. Stir in pomegranate molasses, tomato puree, granulated sugar, salt, pepper, and ground cinnamon.  Mix well

  7. Place chicken thighs in the mixture and cover the pot.  Continue to heat on low for an additional hour, or until chicken has reached 165 degrees, internally

  8. Taste the sauce.  If it is too sweet, add a little more molasses.  If it is too sour, add a little more sugar

  9. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes for sauce to thicken

  10. Serve over warm basmati rice

Recipe Notes

I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they are moist but you can use any type of poultry, lamb, or ground meat (formed into balls), or forgo the meat all together.

If after the initial two hours of simmering the stew is too thick, like a paste, add some water to make it porridge-like

Looking for pomegranate molasses and can’t find it?  Buy one of my favorite brands HERE on Amazon and get it in two days: Cortas Pomegranate Molasses



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