Pomegranate molasses. It's certainly having a little dance across the culinary world at the moment isn't it? Amongst a raft of other vinegars and preserves which seem to be de rigeur at the moment. And i'm a sucker for some fads, and pomegranate molasses is one of them!
But rather than go out and spend $20 on a pretty slender jar of the stuff, it's unbelievably easy to make at home. Pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar. Boil to a syrup. The end!
But then you're left over with some. And you scratch your head as to what on earth to do with it beyond a delicious salad dressing. Well! That's where the crafty Persians come into the mix. Bring on the Fesenjan!
This beautiful stew is like no other i've ever eaten. The slight acidity of the molasses reminds me of the tartness of tamarind in a thai curry, or of vinegar in a vindaloo. But it's much more delicate than either, and the bitter nuttiness of the walnuts adds another level of dimension.
Ingredients (Serves 3)
- 600gm diced lean lamb
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1.5 cups walnuts
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1tbsp cardammom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 3 small onions / 1 large onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
Process the walnuts in a blender until coarsely pureed
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat then add the onions
Sautee until the onions are lightly browned
Add the lamb and brown well
Add the spices and sautee for a further 30 seconds
Add the stock and bring to the boil
Reduce to a simmer, cover and leave for 1 hour
Add the walnuts and polasses and season to taste.
Cover and continue to cook for a further hour.
Serve with saffron rice and garnished with spring onions.