Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pomegranate Stew

I made this Iranian stew finally, its been on my list of things to make for a long time. I really liked its subtle, sweet flavour. I halved the amount of pomegranate juice to save money and used water for the second half but if I make it again I will use the full amount insha Allah to improve the taste.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken legs, cut up
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound walnuts, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken and onions in skillet, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in pureed walnuts, salt, pomegranate juice, and cardamom. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 cup warm water.) Mix in sugar, adjust seasoning, and simmer 30 minutes more.


  1. how very interesting to see pomegranate in cooking.
    We always eat pomegranate but always fresh never cooked.

  2. You made fesenjoon? mashallah...thats awesome. yeah its soo delicious!

    Just a few tips from me...cuz we make it a lot. Dont bother with any spices, Iranians dont use spices...cept for a special blend we have, but you cant really get it unless your in Iran or near a large Iranian community, Iranians dont really use Cardamon in anything, cept maybe the Arab Iranians down south.

    but anyway, the way we make it in the Central Area is just the chix legs, then you fry like half an onion in very fine slivers, once they r translucent, add the chicken, fry a bit and then add the ground up walnuts, stir a bit and then add the pome.syrup. Honestly we dont use too much otherwise it gets far too sour (torsi) I usually add like 4 tblsp and then mix and taste and as it cooks will add more if needed. I also add in several tsp of sugar to balance it, this dish is meant to be mostly sour and slightly sweet. Generally we go by taste when it comes to balancing the sour and sweet tastes...then ofcourse do add a pinch of salt.

    really thats it. Iranian cooking, even very fancy looking stuff tends to be quite simple and except for advieh (Irani spice blend which varies between cities/towns even villages)...really no spices are used in Irani cooking.

    Yeah its delicious...did you make rice and everything?

  3. Asalaamu Alaikum

    Yes I wanted to try something from a culture I hadn't tried cooking from before. No one at the mosque is Iranian either so this was my first time tasting anything like this. I used pomegranate juice not syrup, I don't think I've ever seen syrup here. Pomegranates are sweet so I wonder how it would make it sour? We just ate it with jasmine rice, ya I know, so very wrong but that's what we always eat. I was thinking maybe it would be good with that kind of rice that you cook with raisins and almonds. What do you think? I don't know if I will make this again unless we have guests because I was the only one who liked it.

  4. asalaamu alaikum...LOL, I'll enshallah try to put the recipie that I use up on my blog sometime soon....

    But...actually there r several diff. kinds of pomegranent but really tehy should be sour, some are very very sour, some are quite ripe and a little less sour and more sweet just like some are small and some are big. en'sha'Allah you'll see what I mean if you get some of the really good Persian style pomegranats which incidently you can easily get in Costco around early Fall, brought in from California, they are kinda small-like a bit bigger than a fist and are quite tart. yummy.

    Anyway, no the flavour should be like 75% sour and like a quarter sweet. Ive gotten more into making it since reading your post, cuz you get into a rut. But I do recommend using real pomegranet syrup...the Lebanese make decent brands, just when you get it, pop it open and taste, it should be like thick, almost black molassee and incredibly sour! Not a hint of sweetness, if its sweet, its not useable for fesenjoon. You really need the mostly sour with slightly sweet taste. Also Iranians dont cook rice with raisens or nuts or anything like that, thats a Pakistani thing or an Indian thing, Iranian rice is kinda different... man I should start a cooking blog! But like for these sorts of stews the rice is always plain basmati, nothing else...cooked either 1 of 2 ways-Iranians have like God only knows how many rice cooking methods...but the basic ones are simple. Then really as I think I said, I just fry onion, fry the chicken leggs a bit, add water to cover, add i'd say 4 tblsp pom. syrup to start, add a touch or salt and sugar to get it going, let it come to a boil, it'll be a muddy color, then I food processer up about 1 cup of walnuts to a fine powder, they have to be a fine powder to release the walnut oils hich makes it quite rich tasting...I add them slowly, once its boiling, then, after that gets'll be like a blonde color almost
    and then once its cooked maybe 5 minutes I absically stand there for 10min with pom. syrup in 1 hand and sugar in the other and ofcourse a spoon and taste, I then add 1-2-3-maybe 4 more tbslp of pom. syrup and add 1-2-3? tblsp of dont want it to be sweet, just sweet enough to make it less tart, and not sour enough that it hurts to eat. You can go either way, so I go very very very slow when adding, then if done right, it'll thicken up nicely and get like a very dark mahogeny color. en'shallah try it again! Also, I'll try to make a post about this sometime when I make it next...? I'm considering making a persian cooking blog cuz most the recipies I'm seeing online are OTT! LOL