This is a recipe that I personally grew up with, and only fully really embraced later in my teens. Fesenjoon is a Persian stew, which is flavoured mainly by pomegranate molasses, and given an added texture with ground walnuts. Traditionally, it also contains duck or chicken — but we obviously don’t do that here, so we just sprinkled some cooked TVP on top for the picture.
Persian Pomegranate (Fesenjan) Recipe — Adapted from Simply Recipes to be vegan
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 2 hours
- Yield: Serves 6-8
Tip: Make your own pomegranate molasses by simmering 1 cup of pomegranate juice until it reduces to 5 Tbsp of syrup.
- 1 to 2 large yellow onions, chopped, (3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 pound walnut halves (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
1 Toast and grind the walnuts: You can toast the walnuts in one of two ways. You can either spread them out in a single layer in a large skillet, and toast them on medium high heat, stirring frequently until lightly toasted, OR you can spread them out in a single layer in a baking rimmed baking sheet, and toast at 350°F in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
In either case, once toasted, remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, pulse in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
2. Sauté the onions: Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Put the heat to medium low. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté until translucent, stirring on occasion to release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
3 Add veggie stock: Pour 2 cups of veggie stock over the onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
4 Add ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, sugar, spices, cover and cook: Stir in the ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, sugar, and spices. Cover and cook on very low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so to prevent the walnuts from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve over basmatic rice.