Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

$7.99 Flat Rate Shipping in USA - Ships from Los Angeles

Stewing Up Delicious Persian Memories with Fesenjan

For those of Persian and Iranian descent, just hearing the word Fesenjan conjures up memories of home, family and childhood.  The dish speaks directly to the foundations of Mesopotamian cuisine as well as to our mouths and stomachs.  And for anyone with curious or adventurous palates, after your first spoonful of this delicious Persian chicken stew, you'll begin to create nostalgic memories of your own.


What is Fesenjan?


The dish itself is made up of classic Mediterranean cuisine staples, but like all good foods, has different variations based on family and regional recipes.  Classically, the recipe is made with pomegranate syrup and ground walnuts - more familiarly known as bazha, or walnut sauce - to give it its signature thick texture and tart taste.


The dish has its origins in the Gilan province in Northern Iran where the green land makes for fertile fruit growing and stock raising.  The Gilani people have a strong taste for the tartness of the fruits in the region, most pointedly the pomegranate.  The star ingredients of the dish - pomegranate, walnuts and poultry - have been traced back as staples in the Persian diet all the way to 515 B.C. by means of an unearthed tablet inscription.


Ground Walnut

Today, the dish continues to be enjoyed by millions of Persians all the world over.  In fact, it's considered the most famous of Persian stews and is served during celebrations such as weddings and other special occasions.



How is Fesenjan Prepared?


Depending on how you cook it, the dish can take on either a sweet or sour taste thanks to the versatility of the ingredients.  In most families, the stew is made with poultry - typically chicken - but sometimes duck.  Variations on using poultry include using lamb cut for ghormeh, sliced fish or even no meat at all.  Some prefer to use balls of ground meat, but whatever main protein is used, the dish is almost always served with polo or chelo (white or yellow Persian rice).  


The protein is seared until brown on both sides and then removed from the pan.  A chopped onion is placed in the rendered fat, browned and then the ground walnut and pomegranate syrup are added.  Then, the meat is reintroduced to the pan along with bay leaves, braised, and then spiced to taste with ingredients such as sugar, turmeric, saffron, cardamom and cinnamon.  Finally, a grated red beet is added and the Fesenjan is complete!


Kalamala also carries Ready to Eat Fesenjan 

Read more

Favorite Food Fridays: Ghormeh Sabzi

Considered the national dish of Iran, the tradition and history of Ghormeh Sabzi ("stewed greens') dates back to at least 500 to 1000 years. Served as a main dish in Iranian households for hundreds of years and also as a meal for family members returning after long bouts away from home, the aromatic Persian herb stew is a popular Iranian food not only in Iran, but also in Iraq and Azerbaijan.

Though not the most visually pleasing of dishes, Ghormeh Sabzi makes up its lack of aesthetics with a taste unlike anything you've had before. Consisting of crisp and flavorful ingredients such as cilantro, green onions, leeks, parsley,  shambalileh (dried fenugreek), and sauteed herbs (kale, turnip greens, mustard greens), the cooking process for Iran's national delicacy can be cooked in various ways with various herbs, beans, and vegetables, but every method such as sauteing, stewing, or pressure cooking (though many people prefer a slow cooker for optimum zing), all results in the same, distinct taste.


Traditionally served atop Persian rice, aka: "polow", (made with plain yogurt, Basmati rice, and saffron threads), or "tahdig" (the layer of caramelized, twice-cooked rice that crisps at the bottom of the cooking pot), and often accompanied with lavash bread, this green herb stew is an Iranian food that is deliciously pungent and a dish that will never disappoint your taste buds. And aside from the blend of spices and rice that make up Ghormeh Sabzi, this mixture is also cooked with yellow or red onions, kidney beans or black-eyed peas, beef or lamb seasoned with tumericdried limu-omani (Persian limes) and sometimes potatoes as a substitute for beans--so not only are you tasting an abundance of herbs that will awaken your senses, you're also tasting an assortment of ingredients that compliment this already appealing, untouched Iranian cuisine. 

If you're feeling adventurous and wish to concoct a dish that you've never made before, trying your hand at a pot of Ghormeh Sabzi is a wonderful meal idea for anytime. 


Kalamala also carries ready to eat Ghormeh Sabzi as well as a pre-packaged Ghromeh Sabzi herb mixture

Read more

Favorite Food Fridays: Sabzi Polo

As a cultural food staple of Iran, often served at lunch during Nowruz-- the Persian New Year-- Sabzi Polo (meaning "greens with rice") is a traditional Iranian Cuisine eaten amongst friends and family. Steeped heavily in herbs and spices typical of many Iranian dishes, this fragrant arrangement of Basmati rice and greens enlivens the palette and tastes delicious with meat, fish, and vegetables, but is commonly made with white fish like mahi or halibut.

With various cooking styles that never leave out the polo (similar to rice pilaf), or the fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, scallions, fenugreek, coriander, dill, and chives, many veteran (and non-veteran) chefs tend to add ingredients like garlic powder, lemon juice, eggs, saffron liquid, cinnamon, unsalted butter, and salt & pepper for additional taste enhancements that bring out the flavors already existent inside this aromatic dish. The blending of these integral food factors-- key in every serving of Sabzi Polo-- are frequently covered and simmered in a pan over medium heat for more than 30 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Traditionalists will cook Sabzi Polo until crispy rice layers form on the bottom of the pot; a favored part of this Iranian Cuisine that everyone enjoys eating.  

A Sabzi Polo meal is the epitome of what fresh Spring and Summer flavors are supposed to taste like: light, vivid, crisp, and if you're fortunate enough to live near a Persian fish market, then buying local seafood from a shop that caters to ingredients quintessential to Persian food dishes is a smart decision that will better suit the flavor of your meal. But if you do not, need not worry-- local fish markets in your area are always stocked with the freshest seafood catches available that are just as good as seafood found in Iran. 

If you don't have time to make Sabzi Polo from scratch Kalamala offers dehydrated herbs for Sabzi Polo and a premixed blend of herbs and rice for a quick and health meal.

When it comes to trying out new and exciting foods, even if you don't celebrate Nowruz, you can still enjoy the symbol of life and renewal by making your own version of this Persian favorite. Despite the difficulties that come with any rice dish, capturing the essence of Sabzi Polo on your own time will be worth the effort (and the love) that you put into every plate.  

Read more