If you’re having friends or family round and need that killer dish, then trust me this is it. Don’t be fooled by the name of this dish, I know you’re thinking, boring stew. Believe me, Fasangoon is anything but dull. It is a tangy, sweet, velvety stew with a hint of nuttiness.
The origins of the Fesangoon stew are often hotly debated. The Iranians claim it is theirs, as do the Iraqis. Either way, it is a rich and opulent stew like no other you have ever tasted. The dish is very popular in the cities of Najaf and Karbala, in the south of Iraq, where there are many families of Iranian heritage. Therefore, it’s highly likely that this dish was brought over from Iran. Adding to this the fact that Iran is the second largest walnut producer in the world makes it pretty likely that the Iranians have the rightful claim to this delightful dish.
Fasangoon has very few ingredients but together they taste heavenly. The two main ingredients are walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Traditionally, it is cooked with duck. The flavourful rich duck meat goes perfectly with the tangy Fasangoon sauce. Personally, I find duck too rich therefore I prefer chicken or lamb. I even sometimes make it with lamb meatballs, which my kids love.
This is my simple and straightforward recipe.
6 Chicken Pieces (any you prefer) 2 cups shelled walnuts 1 cup Pomegranate molasses (add more, depending on taste) 3 tbsp sugar (add more, depending on taste)
½ onion (chopped finely) 1tsp Turmeric
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Salt Water
In a small pan, gently fry the onions in a little oil, until soft and set aside.
In a food processor or hand blender, add the walnuts, fried onions and a glass of water. Blend into a smooth paste and set aside.
In a large pot, add a little oil and brown the chicken pieces. Add the turmeric and salt.
Add the walnut paste, pomegranate molasses and 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and cover. Cook for 40 minutes.
Check the chicken is cooked, the sauce is thick and a rich chocolate colour. Add the sugar at this point. Taste the stew and add more sugar if you prefer.
If the chicken is cooked but the stew is still watery then remove the chicken and let the stew simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Once the stew is thick add the chicken back to the pot and serve. Sprinkle a few pomegranate pods on top to decorate.
This stew is served with white fluffy rice. Don’t forget at the end to pour over any leftover stew onto the Hakaka, that’s the thin crust of slightly browned rice at the bottom of the pot.
Tip: You could use meat, chicken or duck just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Mother, social media addict and food lover. Using the power of social media to inspire and promote opportunities for women in every walk of life. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am always searching for the next challenge. A firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason and that it is either a blessing or a lesson.