Tonight, Jewish homes across the globe join to celebrate the Jewish New Year. In Israel, this simply means a nation fully focused on food: preparing, serving, sharing and discussing. Family meals and barbeques define the two-day stretch.

My ashkinazi traditions direct me towards a roasted bird, chopped liver and kugel. My marital, serphardi/tripoli traditions mean lamb’s brain, fish head, salke (spinach omelette), carach (leak omelette) and arubia (stewed pumpkin) at the table. If I was hosting the Rosh Hashanah dinner, I would take the Persian route, incorporating the festival’s fruit, the pomegranate, with a precious bird, either the chicken or duck. One of my all time, recently discovered, easy-to-do, and terribly delicious dishes is Chicken Fesenjan – chicken pieces served with a walnut and pomegranate sauce. The rich Fesenjan sauce, ground walnuts and pomegranate syrup is so simple yet so tasty. Give it a go and happy new year!

Fesenjan (pomegranate walnut chicken)

By Janet Brinkworth on Good Food Live


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 kg chicken, portioned
  • onion, chopped
  • 200 g ground walnuts
  • 80 ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt, nd freshly ground pepper
  • 500 ml pomegranate juice, or 125ml of pomegranate syrup


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan.
2. Add the chicken and fry over a high heat, stirring often, until browned on all sides.
3. Add the onion and walnuts and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Gradually mix in the hot water, then mix in the lemon juice, tomato puree and sugar.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
6. Mix in the pomegranate juice or syrup.
7. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the dish for 45 minutes, stirring now and then, until the chicken is tender.
8. Place the chicken portions on a serving plate, spoon over the sauce and serve.

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2 Responses to A New Year, the Persian Way

  1. ben says:

    hey nat! great looking recipe.

  2. Becca says:

    Nats, I just made this recipe — it was delicious. I bought juice instead of syrup so it was very liquidy, but still great flavor. I can’t wait to make my way through your recipes.

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