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Khoreshe Fessenjan

2 pounds boneless chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
1 medium zucchini (green squash), peeled
2 - 3 cups of shelled walnuts
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 - 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 - 3 Tbsp. pomegranate paste or molasses
sugar to taste
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)

Fry the onions in the oil over med/high heat till they are lightly
golden. Add the chicken, raise the heat to high and keep frying
till all the juices are absorbed.

Meanwhile put the walnuts, zucchini and garlic into a food processor
fitted with the steel blade and process till smooth (almost paste).
Set aside.

When the juices in the meat/onion mixture are absorbed, add the
spices (salt, black pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon) and fry for a
minute or so (don't over fry). Add about 2 cups of water and the
walnut mixture. Bring to a simmer.

Add the pomegranate paste and the optional tomato paste. The tomato
paste is used mainly for color. It makes the stew darker. Addition
of sugar depends on the type of pomegranate you use. If it is in
the form of molasses, you probably don't need the sugar (it is
already in there). The dish should not be too sour. Adjust the
sugar to your taste.

Stir frequently because the walnuts have a tendency to settle down
and burn at the bottom of the pot.

When the meat is done, the sauce should be thick.

Serve with hot basmatti rice.


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