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Amirali's Fesenjān Recipe
5 min

Amirali's Fesenjān Recipe

May 3
5 min

Hello. I’m Amirali, a London-based Canadian of Iranian descent. I am a live instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and classically trained pianist.

For my recipe contribution, I've selected Fesenjān (Fesenjoon), a culinary gem from the northern part of Iran near the Caspian Sea. This dish is a delightful fusion of sweet and savory, featuring tender duck, zesty pomegranate molasses, and crispy walnuts. It's a one-of-a-kind and tantalizing variation of the traditional stew. Enjoy!

Servings/Yield: 4


1 whole duck (2.5 to 3 kg)

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic

2 large bay leaves

1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses (or 1 cup of pomegranate Juice)

4 cups of walnuts, toasted and finely ground

1 tbsp of flour

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

3 tablespoons of chopped dill or parsley for garnish


  1. Begin by washing and patting dry the duck. Place it on a roasting rack. Using a sharp fork, prick the duck's skin, ensuring you penetrate only to the fat layer beneath the skin. Season generously both inside and outside of the bird with salt and pepper.

  2. Stuff the duck's cavity with onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Roast in the oven at 190°C for one hour.

  3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts, being careful not to let them burn. Once toasted, transfer them to a baking sheet and allow them to cool.

  4. Once cooled to room temperature, grind the walnuts into a fine powder.

  5. In a separate pot, heat 1 tablespoon of flour until slightly toasted. Gradually add 2 cups of water, whisking continuously to remove any lumps.

  6. Incorporate the ground walnuts into the flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Cook over low heat.

  7. Around this time, the duck should be halfway done. Remove it from the oven and drain any collected fat from the pan. Return the duck to the oven and roast for another hour.

  8. While the walnut mixture cooks, monitor it closely to prevent burning as it thickens. This process may take some time. Once you observe a layer of oil forming on top of the walnuts, the mixture is close to being ready.

  9. Add pomegranate paste to the walnut mixture, stirring well to combine. Season with salt and continue to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. If the stew tastes too sour, add a small amount of sugar or honey to balance the flavors according to your preference. I personally like it when it’s somewhere in the middle, sweet & sour.

  10. The duck is ready when the internal temperature reaches 76°C. Remove the aromatics from the duck's cavity, carve the duck, and place it in the stew.
  11. Serve alongside saffron-infused Persian rice or Basmati rice.

  12. Garnish the stew with pomegranate seeds and chopped dill or parsley before serving.

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Listen to Amirali's latest EP 'Hideaway' below.