21st December 2016


How to make Christmas Fesenjan

Christmas dish competitor, Natalie Griffith from Natalie's Armenian Kitchen cooked up a luxurious Persian stew which was inspired by her Mum who grew up in Iran. Not a sprout in sight, this tasty celebration dish with a difference is called Christmas turkey Fesenjan.

There are 3 stages to making Christmas Turkey Fesenjan which include making the stew, the Persian-style rice and salad. Here's everything you need to know to recreate this at home. 

What you need to make the turkey stew:

1kg turkey thighs ( you could choose to use lamb, chicken or chick peas too)

2 large onions

Pinch of Turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron

3 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 bottle/450ml pomegranate molasses

400g walnuts

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Handful pomegranate seeds to garnish

The process:

Firstly grind the walnuts finely in a food processor.

Then fry the finely chopped onion in oil with turmeric, add the ground walnuts and stir until they are browned.

Next add 500ml water and bring to boil then allow to simmer for an hour.

Cut up the turkey into pieces then add to pan with pomegranate molasses, sugar, tomato puree, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for a further 1.5 hours until the sauce darkens and resembles chocolate colour.

To make the Persian Chelo rice

What you need:

500g Basmati rice

1 pack salted butter


The process:

Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water, then add to a large pan of salted boiling water.

 Boil for approx 8 minutes, so that the rice is ‘al dente’, not fully cooked.

Then drain the water and wash the rice again in cold water. Then drain it again.

Melt the butter with some water in a large pan and pour out half into a cup. Then add the rice to the pan in layers with a splash of the butter between each one.

Add a few more knobs of butter then cover with a lid covered in a teatowel to absorb the steam.

Cook on a medium heat for about 45 minutes till the rice goes crispy at the bottom, this is called tah-dig.

To make the salad Shirazi

What you need:

3 middle-eastern cucumbers or 1 normal (around 300g)

3 medium tomatoes (around 300g)

½ red onion

10 radishes

1 tbsp dried mint

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice


The process:

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the insides.

Do the same with the cucumber, scooping out its soft flesh on the inside.

Then finely chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and radishes and add the dried mint.

Just before serving, dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

For more of Natalie's Armenian Kitchen recipes:

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