Yes, you read right. A 15-minute version of beloved Persian koresht fesenjan.
For the uninitiated, it’s a stew of ground walnuts, pomegrante molasses, and, often, chicken. It has a sweet and sour flavor that might sound weird on paper, but tastes oh-so-good on the palate. It also has a bit of a reputation: a rep as something that takes a good while to cook.
We chatted about this recipe on here before:
- The classic, stovetop slow cooking version is here.
But today’s offering is a quickie take on the slow-cooking classic. Over the weekend, a reader, Almaz, and I were chatting on Facebook. She loves the blog and had such kind words of encouragement for me. I was really touched. So I asked her if there was anything in particular she’d like me to post about. She jokingly (I think), said “15 minute fesenjan.” I immediately thought about a slow cooker version, that potentially could have only 15 minutes of hands on time.
Then today, while tinkering around in the kitchen, I realized a truly fast fesenjan, made in 15 minutes from start to finish, IS doable. If you have the following, already ready:
- Pomegranate PASTE or MOLASSES (pre-thickened, you see!)
- Ground walnuts.
- Pre-cooked chicken (if using).
- Pre-cooked rice (if serving over rice). Or you could use quick cooking rice. (Not as tasty as homemade, but just sayin’)
So here we go. Don’t blink, guys, or else this recipe will be over before you know it:
15-Minute Khoresht Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Approximately 4-6 servings. ( The nuts make this a very rich dish.)
- Neutral cooking fat of choice (butter, grapeseed oil, etc)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 cup pre-ground walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses or pomegranate paste (can find on Amazon)
- 10 ounces of mushrooms (optional)
- 1 cup of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
- 1 14-16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed (optional)
- 1 cup of pre-cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (such as leftover roasted chicken)
- Honey, sugar, or agave nectar to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Over a low heat, heat oil or butter in a Dutch oven.
2. As fat warms, dice onion. Add it to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically. (Chopping the onion very small will help it cook through faster).
3. As the onion cooks, slice mushrooms (if using) and drain and rinse chickpeas (if using).
4. Lower the heat, and add walnuts to the onions. Toast walnuts lightly, turning often, for 30-60 seconds, or until you smell a hint of fragrance. Immediately add in spices, and cook for about 30 seconds more. Turn heat off.
5. Add in the pomegranate molasses/paste, stock or water. Stir well, then add in any of the following that you’re using: chicken, mushrooms, chickpeas. Put the heat back on, then increase heat to high until stew boils. Drop the heat down to low.
6. Cook for 5 minutes more, until mushrooms are cooked through and chicken, if using, is warmed through. (You can cook this dish longer if you wish, up to half an hour, but the shorter cooking time works if you’re in a hurry).
7. Adjust seasonings to your taste. If you want it sweeter, add in sweetener of choice, stir, taste. Repeat until you’ve reached your idea sweet-sour ratio. Serve over rice of choice and enjoy.
Enjoy it over rice of your choice.