Fesenjoon (Sweet and sour chicken stew)

As one of the most popular and well-known Persian foods, Fesenjoon as a lot to offer in terms of its sweet, sour, and savoury tastes intermixed with a flavours of turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. The combination produces an exciting dance of flavours.

As a traditional recipe, there are as many variants as there are people who have made Fesenjoon, but what follows is a well-tested recipe adjusted to my own tastes. Principles of modifications are noted below to help you get started on the infinite ways this recipe can be modified.


Serving: 3





  1. toast the walnuts until aromatic but not burnt, about 5-7 minutes in 350F oven toaster or over pan.
  2. Let cool and grind walnut with coffee grinder or food processor until has a paste-like texture.


  1. On medium heat, add oil and turmeric until oil is yellow in color and turmeric is aromatic.
  2. Add walnut to the mix and stir for 2 minutes until well-mixed.
  3. Wash chicken thighs and drumsticks well, add to the mix.
  4. Add water and pomegranate paste, put the lid on the pot and let boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
  6. Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  7. Let simmer for 3 hours or until a layer of oil forms on top.
  8. Once well-cooked, a layer of oil separated from a dark mixture underneath should be visible. The chicken thigs and drumsticks should fall apart easily.
  9. Turn off the heat and add saffron, mix well. Adding saffron at this stage helps preserve the aroma.



Fesenjoon is traditionally served with rice and an assortment of sides including yogurt and pickled vegetables.