Pomegranate Walnut Lamb Stew | Khoresh Fesanjan ba Goosht
Given that chicken or duck is traditionally used in the preparation of Fesanjan, I call this dish ba goosht-with meat, and I have prepared it my own way. I love lamb shanks (mahiche) and decided to serve them with my thick and delicious walnut pomegranate gravy to complement the extremely tender "fall of the bone" muscle meat. It is best cooked slowly and is well worth the extra time and effort. Serve it with any rice of your choice, but ideally with the Baghali polo, which is prepared with fresh dill and fava beans with a touch of saffron and butter.
6 lamb shanks
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
2 finely chopped onions, fried to a golden brown
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup toasted walnuts-crushed to a powder
2 tbsp ground almond
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp advieh -see tips
6 juniper berries
1 tsp of allspice-freshly ground
In a pan, heat the butter and oil. Pan fry the lamb shanks till golden brown and salt it all over. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add in the pomegranate juice, crushed onions, walnuts, almonds, and all the spices. Bring it to a boil again and cover. Simmer for 2 hours. Stir from time to time to make sure it is not sticking at the bottom of the pan. Taste for salt and toorsh o shirin—sweetness and sourness.
The khoresh should be thick, the meat tender enough to fall of the bone. Turn the stove off and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Crush the juniper berries if you prefer.
Advieh is a blend of several spices, lightly toasted and ground.
Most recipes in Persian cuisine call for pomegranate molasses. While commercially made bottles of pomegranate molasses are available, pure pomegranate boiled down is essentially molasses. Some are made up with adding a little lemon juice, salt, and sugar, necessary for storing long term.
Photo courtesy Vahishta Canteenwalla
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.