Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate – my take on Fesenjan stew – with added veggies!Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate in a cast iron skillet

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.

Overhead close photo of Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate


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.

Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate in a bowl with rice

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!! If you’ve tried my recipe then please rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing your thoughts and add-ons to my recipes!
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The Persian Style Chicken Curry Recipe:

4.86 from 7 votes

Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate

Persian Style Chicken Curry With Walnuts and Pomegranate - my take on Fesenjan stew - with added veggies! Gluten Free too!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Persian


  • 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 (3.2 oz) whole walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 25 g (1/3 cup) 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 (2 cups) chicken stock use bouillon for gluten-free
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 85 g (1/4 cup) pomegranate molasses **

To Serve:

  • boiled rice
  • or Cous cous
  • seeds from half of a fresh pomegranate
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • ½ small red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8-10 walnuts roughly chopped
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  • 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.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 medium brown onion, 3 chicken breasts
  • Add the sliced peppers and chopped aubergine and stir. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
    1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 small aubergine/eggplant
  • Whilst the chicken and veggies are cooking, place the walnuts in a food processor and blend just until they turn to fine crumbs.
    90 g (3.2 oz) whole walnuts
  • 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.
    2 cloves garlic, 25 g (1/3 cup) ground almonds, ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp salt, pinch of ground black pepper, ¼ tsp cinnamon, zest of half a lime
  • Add the chicken stock, honey and three-quarters of the molasses. Stir, bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    480 ml (2 cups) chicken stock, 2 tbsp honey, 85 g (1/4 cup) pomegranate molasses
  • 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.
    boiled rice, or Cous cous
  • Top with pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, red onion slices and chopped walnuts.
    seeds from half of a fresh pomegranate, small bunch flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 small red onion, 8-10 walnuts roughly chopped


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
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).
Nutritional Information is per serving, without serving suggestion of boiled rice or couscous.


Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 788mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1230IU | Vitamin C: 99.7mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Viv says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe, it was delicious! My five year old also loved it -she normally eats around capsicum and had never tried eggplant before, but she gobbled it all up.

  2. saly says:

    what is a brown onion?

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Hi Saly,

      Its what i would call a ‘standard’ onion 🙂 . They are also sometimes called yellow or white onions too.



  3. Susannah says:

    This sounds amazing, but I’m allergic to walnuts! What could I replace them with? I can eat peanuts, pistachios, cashews… Or could I use something completely different?

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Susannah – pecans would work, or you could use pistachios or cashews if you prefer.

  4. Ethel says:

    Can you make this as a crockpot meal?

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Hi Ethel,

      We have not tried it in the crockpot but with it being so quick to cook we wouldn’t recommend this as a crockpot meal. You could make it ahead then reheat.


      Chris & Nicky

  5. Luis says:

    Looks great!
    Can you make this with prawns instead of chicken? Or vegetarian?
    Thank you.

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Hi Luis,

      You could replace the chicken with Tofu or you could leave out the chicken, cook the sauce and add prawns towards then end as they dont need as much cook time as chicken.

      If you do try please let us know how you get on


      Chris & Nicky

      1. Luis says:

        Great! Thanks very much for the reply.

  6. Belinda says:

    I see no curry added????

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Belinda,
      The recipe doesn’t use an Indian-based curry powder. This Persian-style curry is a sweeter curry and the sauce is made from the turmeric, garlic, ground nuts, salt, pepper, cinnamon, lime, stock, honey and pomegranate molasses.

  7. Stine Mari says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe, it looks amazing! And also big thanks for the recipe for homemade pomegranate molasses, as I can’t find it in the stores here.

  8. Navdeep says:

    How much would it modify the recipe if I skipped the pomegranate molasses?

    1. Kristene says:

      I routinely make my own version of pomegranate molasses, just a simple reduction of the juice, nothing else. Juice is carried in the produce section of any supermarket (we have Pom brand here). It can be used as an ingredient in many other dishes, adding a pleasant, sweet-sour and fruity note. LOVE the recipe, thank you!

  9. Molly says:

    5 stars
    This is a delicious meal! One of my favorite make at home curries! So easy and so full of flavor. I made my own pom molasses and used chicken thighs instead of breast.

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Very impressed you made your own molasses Molly! Thanks for the comment 😀

  10. Pamela says:

    This looks like a must for Friday night. If anyone has friends holidaying in TURKEY, ask them to bring you a bottle of pomegranate sauce back. It can be found in any supermarket along side the salad dressings.