Fesenjoon (Pomegranate- Walnut Stew)

This is one of my favorite Persian recipes! :) I just love Fesenjoon with koofteh(meatballs). In my family it was always made with meatballs, though the majority of people make it with chicken.

Fesenhoon (ba koofteh)

Fesenjoon (ba koofteh)

This specific Fesenjoon recipe is with meatballs, but for those who prefer chicken you can basically make a few adjustments and use chicken instead.

approximately .5 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion
3/4 cup finely crushed walnuts — I use a food processor to crush up my walnuts
3- 4 tablespoons Pomegranate paste (or molasses) — the more you add the more sour the stew will be
sugar (desired amount) — the more you add the sweeter it will make the stew
onion powder (optional)
ground coriander (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
aloo khoshk (prunes) –I buy it from an international grocery store and keep them refrigerated

Fesenjoon (with meatballs)

Fesenjoon (with meatballs)

Directions to make Fesenjoon:
Before you chop up your onion to saute, take a grater (randeh) and grate some of the onion for your meatballs. If you only grate a bit of the onion you can also use onion powder for the meatballs. Then take the remaining onion and chop it up. Pour some oil into a pot and turn the stove burner on to medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up and then add your onions.

In a separate mixing bowl you will mix together the grated onion, ground beef, some turmeric, some salt/pepper, onion powder (optional), and if you choose ground coriander.

Once the onions are sauteed and tender, add the chopped walnuts and continuously mix. I sauteed the walnuts for approximately 10 minutes before adding water. Basically, the smell of the walnuts will be evident and you will notice the walnuts giving out oil. You don’t want to over fry the walnuts either. After you add the water, start making little round balls (meatballs) from the ground beef mixture. As you make them you can drop them into the pot. Once all the meatballs are formed and put into the stew you can add the aloo (prunes), pomegranate paste, and some sugar. I added 2 prunes, about 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, and 3 tablespoons sugar. With the sugar and pomegranate you get a sweet and sour type stew. If you prefer sweet add more sugar and less pomegranate and the opposite if you prefer the more sour taste. Depends on how you like your Fesenjoon.

Finally, cover the pot of Fesenjoon and allow it to cook on a medium or medium-low temperature until thickened…water should be evaporated. Fesenjoon is ready to be served with Rice :) .

11 wonderful comments and feedbacks from Persian Food lovers

  1. I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful Fesenjoon recipe. This is not just a Fesenjoon recipe, its an in-depth explanation of how and what and when everything is and should be when you’re making Fesenjoon.
    As my name says I love fesenjoon and now I can make fesenjoon!!

  2. want to make this dish how much ground beef do i use in grammes? i need to impress my turkish friend who is married to a peresian man she told me make it exact from the recipie don’t add more than it says just hope it turns out well


  3. My mom makes it without the ground beef, with chicken. How do you modify the recipe.

    • The main difference if you are making it with chicken is that when you fry the onion you will then add chicken pieces. Of course you will add salt, pepper, and turmeric to the chicken as well. Then add the chopped walnuts and fry them for a few minutes…from here on the recipe will be the same.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Sounds delicious. Will have to manipulate someone into cooking this for me. I do happen to have a victim in mind. (A woman, needless to say…) :)

  5. Thank you for this delicious recipe! However, I have these questions,

    – Why don’t you saute the meat balls before you add them to the pot? meat balls usually disintegrate when you put them in boiling liquid.

    -What’s the idea behind putting 2 prunes in there?

    Also, in your response to Shahriar above, I think if you add the chicken like that at the beginning it will overcook and fall apart by the time the khoresht is done. Isn’t it better to add the sauteed chicken to the pot towards the end?

    • Hi. Thanks for the questions, I have tried to explain them as best as possible below:

      – When I add the meatballs to the water its usually not boiling. I leave the temperature on medium heat and my meatballs dont disintegrate. I like doing this because the flavor of the khoresht goes into the meatballs as well.

      – I add a few prunes to neutralize any irritation that can be caused by walnuts. For some people eating too many walnuts irritates their taste buds and can cause an unpleasant feeling. Adding just the pomegranate paste should suffice, but I find that sometimes a few prunes may help out more.

      – I usually dont make fesenjoon with chicken, but I think the longer the chicken cooks in the stew (khoresht) the more it will soak in the flavor. But I think adding it halfway through or closer to the end should be fine.

  6. Can I use lamb, pork or chicken iinstead of beef


  7. Thank you so much! This is the best Fesenjoon recipe ever. I just made some, it was a little too sour but still very tasty. Thanks.

    herbal incense

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