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Fessen Djan

By TogAdmin Published: April 4, 2013

  • Yield: 10 Servings

A ragout, 3 to 4 soupspoons or more, according to personal taste, to be poured over rice and eaten. This recipe is for ten to fifteen people. Recipes for Persian cooking are rather elastic and cannot be exactly timed – after some experience you can adjust the recipe to your personal taste. This ragout or stew can be eaten plain with rice or you can incorporate into it duck or fish (as eaten in the north of Iran, in the province of Gilan for example), or chicken or meat. When using meat in this stew, cut into squares (1½ in x 1½ in) and fry before adding to the stew.



    1. Pluck, clean, wash and dry duck. Fry to a golden colour with butter. Add a little water, cover and cook for about ½ an hour (i.e. cook duck half way). Cut duck up into several pieces and put aside to incorporate later and cook with your stew.
    2. 150g of dried, uncrushed walnuts. Fry slightly with butter. Take two aubergines (egg plants). (You may substitute 2 apples (peeled, cored and cut into 4 pieces) instead of egg plants which are sometime difficult to get in Europe). Peel, cut in half, and put aside to drain. Then fry slightly. Cut one large onion cut into thin slices and fry in butter to a golden brown.
    3. All these elements are fried separately and then ground through a food processor or blender (not too fine). Add about 1½ litres of pomegranate juice to give a creamy texture. If pomegranates are not available use instead 3 or 4 soupspoons of redcurrant jelly, the juice of 2 or 3 lemons (to compensate for sweetness of jelly, some water to replace liquid of pomegranate juice).
    4. Leave to cook half an hour very slowly in covered saucepan. Then add a full dessertspoon of tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix well. Leave to cook very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. If substitutes for pomegranates have been used add the tomato paste to the stew first with a little water. Leave to cook slowly in a covered saucepan for half an hour, then add the rest of the ingredients. The reason for this is to enable the stew to acquire the proper colour.
    5. Pass through a food processor or blender until the mixture reaches the consistency of a puree. When properly cooked the oil will surface and a certain amount may be removed if it is too greasy for your taste.
    6. The duck is to be added to this stew during the last hour or so of cooking – it must be well cooked but not disintegrated.
    7. If stew is sour add a little powdered sugar (depending on pomegranates); if too sweet add a little lemon juice. When cooked the stew is a chocolate brown colour.