Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate – my take on Fesenjan stew – with added veggies!
We have a homemade curry at least once a week at home. I use the term homemade loosely. Sometimes it’s completely from scratch (like this one), or if I’m in a really hurry (like 20 minutes until the kid’s have a hunger meltdown) I’ve no qualms with using shop-bought Thai curry paste.
Yesterday, fancying something a little bit different – but without it taking an age, I went back to one of my old posts, and gave the Persian curry I made a bit of a makeover.
Extra veggies (aubergines – yes, I got the kids to eat aubergines!!), peppers and red onion all added in to the classic version and topped with extra walnuts.
If you’ve never had Persian stew or Fesenjan before, it does sound a little odd. Pomegranate molasses, ground walnuts, cinnamon, chicken and stock, combined with a few other ingredients to make a savoury curry with a light sweetness. Although there are a couple of spices in there, there’s no chilli to scare off the kids, so it makes a great curry for everyone to enjoy.
Everyone went back for seconds, and then I caught the kids (who were supposed to be on washing up duty) mopping up the remnants straight out of the pan! So I guess that makes it a winner 🙂
The curry only takes 40 minutes from start to finish – and almost half of that is hands-off time, so it’s a good choice for a busy weeknight dinner.
The pomegranate seeds on top, although not vital, add a delicious, fresh crunch to the meal. I topped mine with a few lightly chopped walnuts too.
Hope you enjoy the recipe!!
The Persian Style Chicken Curry Recipe:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium brown onion peeled and diced
- 3 chicken breasts diced
- 1 red bell pepper deseeded and sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper deseeded and sliced
- 1 small aubergine/eggplant chopped into bite-size chunks
- 90 g whole walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 25 g ground almonds (almonds meal - the grainy type, not the flour version)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch of ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- zest of half a lime
- 480 ml chicken stock (use bouillon for gluten free)
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup pomegranate molasses **
- Boiled rice or cous cous
- Seeds from half of a fresh pomegranate
- Small bunch flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 1/2 small red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 8-10 walnuts roughly chopped
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet and add the onions. Fry for 2 minutes and then add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, until sealed, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sliced peppers and chopped aubergine and stir. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Whilst the chicken and veggies are cooking, place the walnuts in a food processor and blend just until they turn to fine crumbs.
- Add the walnuts, garlic and ground almonds to the pan and cook for a minute. Add in the turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon and lime zest, stir and cook for a further minute.
- Add the chicken stock, honey and three-quarters of the molasses. Stir, bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the stew, add more molasses if needed. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then serve on top of boiled rice or cous cous.
- Top with pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, red onion slices and chopped walnuts.
To store in the freezer, allow the Persian stew to coo , then place in a sealed tub and freeze for up to 1 month (don't add the pomegranate seeds or parsley). Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature, then reheat in a pan until piping hot. Serve topped with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.
** Sourcing Pomegranate molasses:
I believe in the US, you’d be able to get hold of it at any Middle Eastern or Kosher store. Amazon sells it, and I think you may find it at Walmart. It’s sometimes called pomegranate syrup.
Alternatively there are a couple of ways you can make it at home (sourced from UKTV.co.uk):
1. Squeeze the juice from a large pomegranate then boil the liquid until it has reduced to just two tablespoons.
2. Take 3 cups (720ml) pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup (100g) sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml )lemon juice and simmer until reduced to 1 cup (240ml).