Skip to main content

How to make Iranian fesenjoon | Dine & Discover

Join us in a new video series as we learn about some of the region's famed dishes
Fesenjoon can be made with your preference of chicken or duck (MEE)

Dine & Discover is a nine-week series with a new episode published weekly on YouTubeInstagram and Facebook so be sure to subscribe. 

Hello! I'm Dina Macki, welcome to Dine & Discover. 

In the coming weeks I'll be taking you through a series of recipes famed across the MENA region that you can easily re-create in your own homes. 

I am obsessed with pomegranates, so this dish truly sits on the highest pedestal for me. Fesenjoon, also known as fesenjan, is a slow-cooked walnut and pomegranate stew that originates from northern Iran. This stew is typically eaten during celebrations and tops my recommendations for dishes to wow your guests with!

The rich combination of the warming and cooling elements from the pomegranates and walnuts is something your tastebuds need to experience. 

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


I use chicken in this recipe but if you want to keep it authentic, you can swap it out for duck and take it to the next level. 

Watch the video above to see how it's done - there's also a recipe below with the details to make sure you don't miss anything out. See you next week.


Serves: 6-8

Time: Preparation: 30 minutes. Cooking: 2.5 hours

Iranian fesenjan

1. Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 large onion sliced 
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 250g walnuts (ground) 
  • 1 litre water
  • 150ml pomegranate molasses
  • 125ml pomegranate juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces, without skin) 
  • Whole pomegranate
  • Basmati rice

2. Method

1. Warm your vegetable oil in a pot on a low heat and add your sliced onions and minced garlic.

2. Leave to saute gently until they begin to turn a light golden colour.  

3. Grind the walnuts in a food processor until they have formed a crumbly like paste.


4. Add the ground walnuts to the onions and give it a good mix.

5. Add 1 litre of water and turn it up to a medium high heat. Leave it to stew with the lid on for roughly 1 hour 30 minutes.  

6. Once you see the sauce change into a walnut brown colour add in your pomegranate molasses, pomegranate juice, brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Mix it all in and let simmer with the lid on for a further 30 minutes to allow for the flavours to infuse.

Adding pomegrates

7. Finally add in the chicken and some extra pomegranate gems. Put the lid back on and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (you can leave it longer if you prefer it to be more tender). 

8. Serve with some plain white rice and of course a few more pomegranate gems. 

fesnjoon served

Follow the Dine & Discover series on Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow Dina on her Instagram page @dinewithdina.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.