By Meredith Klein http://www.pranaful.com/
Fesenjan is a Persian pomegranate and walnut stew that is traditionally made with chicken. This version uses young jackfruit to create a stew that is just as hearty and satisfying as the original. If you’re unable to find jackfruit, you could substitute garbanzo beans in its place.
Prep time: 15m | Cook time: 30m | Total time: 45m | Serves 4
Vegan / Gluten-free
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced into half-moons
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Two 15-oz cans young jackfruit, drained*
- 1½ cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses**
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cooked basmati rice (for serving)
- Chopped parsley
- Pomegranate arils (seeds), if available
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add walnuts. Toast walnuts for 6-8 minutes until they are slightly browned and fragrant. Stir nuts occasionally and reduce heat as needed to prevent burning. Let walnuts cool slightly, then transfer them to a food processor and chop them into a fairly fine meal.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon and jackfruit and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir in ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
Serve fessenjan over individual servings of basmati rice, and garnish with parsley and pomegranate arils.
* Jackfruit is a large prickly tropical fruit for Southern/Southeast Asia. In its unripe state, it is fairly neutral in flavor and can be used as a meat substitute. Several brands are now easily found in health food stores and Indian markets around the U.S. Try to find one that doesn’t use preservatives and be sure not to buy ripened jackfruit in syrup.
** Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern markets or online, and in some more mainstream retail locations as well.
Meredith Klein is a member of the Order of Interbeing, a private chef, a yoga instructor, and mindfulness teacher. She is based in Los Angeles and is passionate about helping individuals experience radical transformation through the practices of meditation and healthy, mindful eating. She creates internationally-inspired, Ayurvedically-influenced organic cuisine, has authored a cookbook, and offers nourishment education workshops and consultations. To learn more, visit www.pranaful.com