Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Khoresht-E-FesenjanDuring my undergraduate years at the University of Oregon I carried myself through my work week knowing that I had a treat waiting for me on Fridays. Caspian, one of the restaurants in the treasure trove of 13th Ave, offered predictable daily specials, my favorite being the offering of Fesenjon on Fridays. I had never heard of this dish before, and the sign simply described it as chicken with a sauce of pomegranates and walnuts. Before long, I found myself hooked

unable to avoid the stuffed feeling comingled with tangy satisfaction as I would amble back to classes.

The ownership of Caspian has seemed to change over the years, and the emphasis of Mediterannean food has shifted a bit to please a more generic college palate. And sadly, my favorite dish disappeared. This was a good lesson in sharing appreciation. I have kicked myself for years, for not having taken the time out of my day to tell the little old man behind the counter how much I appreciated his meals. How could I have been so timid to express my joy?

Years have passed, and availabilities of special food items have changed, and so has my obsession with recreating this special dish evolved. I have gone from using pomegranate molasses, to using the juice, which is now widely available in grocery stores. This recipe is a culmination of on-line research and much tasting. It isn’t the same Fesenjoon I would enjoy sitting in front of Caspian, but it sure is close.



Toast 3/4 cup of walnut pieces.

Add to a blender with:

  • 3/4 of a large onion
  • 1/2 cup of broth
  • two cups of pomegranate juice (the pom-tangerine works really well too, as I imagine the blueberry would)

Blend till the nuts are ground fine.

Brown whatever meat you want to use and pour the blended sauce over.

  • My favorite method is making this with country style boneless pork ribs. The traditional methods are making this with chicken, duck, or lamb. I think goat would be good too.
  • Cube two pounds of country style boneless ribs into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with two tsp of salt. In a hot pan, add 1 Tbs of oil, and allow to get hot. Add cubed pork and sear on all sides till browned and juices have evaporated, taking approximately 15- 20 minutes. Now pour your blended ingredients over the seared meat.

Sprinkle on:

  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • a good pinch of saffron

Stir in either two Tbs of ketchup or two tablespoons of tomato paste with 2 tsp of sugar.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer with the lid on for at least one hour.

Remove lid and continue to simmer, allowing sauce to thicken. The longer this cooks the better!

When meat is tender, stir in one Tbs of lemon juice, and possibly add more sugar to taste.

Break up the pork cubes by pressing down on them with the back of a large spoon. I find this shreads them the easy way.

Serve up! I like serving this on saffron rice made with butter and onions, Or just with warm pittas. Also, the leftovers make a great burrito with guacamole.


posted March 22nd, 2005 at 10:02 am

Now, that’s some comfort food! Another addition to my “must make” list, this sounds so incredible, I think my head would cave in if I ever ate it in a burrito with rice and guacamole!

Thanks for entering into the contest; make sure to check back for the round-up in the next day or so, and for the results next week!


- Moira
posted January 16th, 2006 at 3:22 am

It was surprising to find your blog and your addiction to this plate, while I was looking for the recipe. Your story is so similar to mine! There is this middle eastern restaurant close to campus that prepares this dish also on Fridays (do you know by any chance why is this Persian dish prepared on Fridays?). Anyway, I am addicted to this dish, and I cannot wait to try your recipe so I can prepare it other days of the week.

  • Excellent! Best of luck. You should go ask them if they would give out their recipe, nudge nudge.


- Elizabeth
posted June 13th, 2006 at 4:02 pm

Another way to make this is with pomegrante molasses which has a more intense flavor. It’s available at mid eastern grocery supply stores.

- nick
posted September 11th, 2007 at 12:35 pm

I used to eat this at an Iranian restaurant in los angeles. It wasn’t until recently I saw POM and started to think about this dish which I loved in the early nineties. Just made it and WOW is it good. I think it must be pretty good for you since pomegranites have a ton of antioxidants and walnuts are suppossed to lower cholesterol.

- joe
posted October 29th, 2019 at 12:08 pm

How to make khoresh fesenjan
1-half kiloo ground beef
2- half kiloo walnut
3 2medium onion
4-pomorante pste 4spoon
5- suger to your taste
6 salt and peper to your taste
7-2cups water
chopp onion and fry it, make meat to meatball,and fry in onion tehn add walnut(walnut has to be finely grinded)and water, stir until no lumpy walnut be founded ,heat them on medium heat for 15 minutes add pomogranate sauce let it cook far more 15 minutes then add suger and salt and pepper enough to your taste and after 15 minutes your khoresh is ready serve that with withe or brown rice.

- shahin

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