Friday, January 20, 2006

Pomegranate khoresh

I lived in Strasbourg for five years and several weeks before leaving it, I made a list of all the things I wanted to eat one last time and fix in my memory. Naturally, items tended towards Alsatian specialties but there was one exception: poulet au grenadine (chicken pomegranate) from a corner Persian grocery/takeout. Because of its drab and muddy appearance I was not tempted to try it for a long time. But one day I did and immediately fell for the unexpectedly glamorous flavors, sweet and savoury with alluring notes of sour, and an intriguingly nutty, grainy texture.

From time to time I get a craving for the elusive taste of that stew. Luckily I came across Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies. The recipe is uncomplicated but produces seductive results.

Khoresh-e fesenjan

-1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
-2 onions, thinly sliced
-1 pound chicken thigh or duck breast, cut into pieces
-1/2 pound shelled walnuts
-4 cups pomegranate juice
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the ghee over medium heat, fry onions. Add meat and brown. Toast and grind walnuts, add pomegranate juice, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Combine everything in a pot and simmer over low heat, about 40 minutes, until the liquid obtains smooth consistency. Serve with rice.


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3:14 PM  
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7:32 PM  
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9:36 AM  
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