Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pumpkin, pecan and pomegranate stew (Fesenjān)

This dish is a local version of the Persian favourite fesenjān (or fesenjoon). I first tried it at the Saffron Room a couple of years ago, and have cobbled this recipe together from several available on the web. The main alteration I made (because I prefer to use local rather than imported ingredients where possible) was to use pecans instead of the traditional walnuts.

1 large onion, chopped
olive oil
0.5 teaspoon turmeric
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
half a pumpkin, cubed
one large eggplant, cubed
2 cups vegetable stock
0.5 cup pomegranate molasses (try Middle Eastern grocery shops or delis)
1 cup pecan nuts, roasted and roughly chopped
seeds from a fresh pomegranate (currently in season here in Australia!)
fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook until translucent, then add the spices and cook a little longer. Add the pumpkin and eggplant chunks and stir till they're coated in the spices. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add the pomegranate molasses and pecans. Simmer for about twenty minutes. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley to serve. This recipe makes about six to seven portions. I suggest freezing the leftovers for another day.

Big thanks to Andrew for doing all the chopping tonight. I usually do most of the cooking at home, but since falling off my bike and fracturing my arm last week I'm currently rather lop-sided. So he's taking on all sorts of unusual tasks ... and doing a magnificent job!

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