Fesenjan & Sabzi Polow (Persian Pomegranate Walnut Stew & Herb Rice)

A few years ago, I had this pomegranate walnut stew at a Persian restaurant and I thought WOW. Of course, the next step was to try and make it. So I fussed around online and put together a recipe a couple of years back. Unfortunately I have no idea which actual recipe it was based on. For the Sabzi Polow, I cheated this time around. It is generally made similar to biryani: you cook the rice part way and then layer it with other stuff and continue cooking. Here is a great recipe. But we already had a lot of cooked basmati just waiting in the fridge and I was tired, so I improvised. I’ve actually faked biryani this way too and it was good!


1 tablespoon oil
1 onion thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Glaze
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
Soy or wheat strips or gilled/fried eggplant.

  1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan and saute onions over medium heat.
  2. Grind walnuts to a powder in a food processor and add to onions.
  3. Stir for a few minutes until they brown a little and then add the Pomegranate Glaze and water.
  4. Cook down for about 20-30 minutes so that the oil in the walnut separates out some.
  5. Serve over any soy or wheat strips or grilled/fried eggplant.

Sabzi Polow

3 cups cooked basmati rice [OR cook basmati rice in salt until it is almost done]
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped mint
1/3 cup finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons oil

  1. Mix together the cooked rice, herbs, quite a bit of salt (rice really soaks it up), and a little water so it isn’t super dry.
  2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Add rice mixture and cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Lower heat a little and cook for another 15-20 minutes. The bottom should have a nice crust.
  5. Put a plate over the pan and flip over so that the rice comes out in one piece with a nice coating of crusty rice.
A few notes about this recipe:
  • We ran out of walnuts (so sad!), so I used a few pecans to make up the difference. I think it worked okay, but walnuts are so much healthier than pecans.
  • I love the Pomegranate Glaze from Trader Joe’s. I haven’t actually tried pomegranate molasses from a Persian market yet, but that is what a lot of recipes call for. Are they the same thing?
  • I try and limit soy and wheat meat products somewhat because soy and wheat aren’t the best things for you, but Tejas is a big fan. Where I might have used eggplant, he wants the soy strips!
  • I talk about flipping over the rice so it comes out in a nice piece, but it didn’t come out that way for me this time 🙂

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