‘Khoresht-e-Fesenjan’ is a kind of pomegranate-flavoured Persian stew made with poultry, or occasionally with meatballs. Depending on the taste of the cook it can be a sweet or sour dish. My wife Minoo usually makes it medium-sweet. In the amounts indicated the recipe serves about four people.
Pomegranate juice (3 cups) or pomegranate paste if you can get it from your local Iranian shop (3-4 tablespoons)
1 kg Chicken thighs (duck is also used in Iran)
Ground walnuts (350 grams)
3 chopped onions (medium)
Sugar (2 spoons)
Half a cup of cooking oil
Salt to taste
- Peel onions and chop finely
- Remove skin from chicken thighs
- Add salt and fry chicken thighs and onions in oil until golden brown
- Add 3 cups of water and bring to boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes adding more (boiling) water if required
- Add ground walnuts and pomegranate juice or paste
- (If you are using pomegranate paste, add 1-2 more cups of boiling water and bring to boil again)
- Simmer the ‘Khoresht-e-Fesenjan’ until the oil in the walnuts separates and the mixture has the texture of thin porridge
- Taste the mixture- if it seems sour add sugar to taste
- ‘Khoresht-e-Fesenjan’ should be served hot with white rice.
In a world of increasing extremism I find the following words of Bahá’u’lláh a great confirmation of the underlying unity of all religions-
There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God.
I am concerned to learn from BWNS that at least six Baha’is were detained in Iran yesterday. This includes a worker with human rights organisations connected to Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel prize winner.
According to reports received from Iran, the six were arrested after government security agents raided the homes of at least 11 Baha’is. During the raids, they also confiscated Baha’i books and other items, such as computers and photographs. Among those arrested was Jinous Sobhani, who worked as an assistant for the Organization for Defending Mine Victims and also for the Defenders of Human Rights Center. Both were founded by Mrs. Ebadi. In an interview with CNN, Mrs. Ebadi said today that Ms. Sobhani had been laid off from both organizations after government agents raided Mrs. Ebadi’s offices and shut them down in December. While some reports indicate that more than six Baha’is were arrested yesterday in Tehran, those confirmed so far include Ms. Sobhani, Mr. Shahrokh Taefi, Mr. Didar Raoufi, Mr. Payam Aghsani and Mr. Aziz Samandari. Mr. Golshan Sobhani was also arrested but was released a few hours later. It is unclear whether he is related to Ms. Sobhani. “The arrest of these individuals reflects not only the grave situation facing Baha’is in Iran but also the overall human rights situation there,” said Diane Ala’i, a representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva. “As far as we know, all of these people were arrested primarily because they are Baha’is,” said Ms. Ala’i. But she confirmed the fact that Ms. Sobhani worked for the two organizations founded by Mrs. Ebadi. “The connection of Ms. Sobhani to the work of Mrs. Ebadi’s organizations points to the gravity of the situation in Iran, where the government seems intent on stifling any expression of the importance of human rights or religious freedom,” said Ms. Ala’i.
The artist Bernard Leach concludes his autobiography ‘Beyond East and West’ with an expression of yearning for world unity-
I have seen a vision of the Marriage of East and West, and far off down the Halls of Time I heard the echo of a childlike voice. How long? How long?
Leach’s art was a conscious attempt to unify the traditions of East and West. In the years since his passing the world has seen the ‘Marriage Of East and West’ having an increasingly literal reality with a growing number of loving inter-cultural relationships. The occident and orient are reuniting like estranged lovers. In the words of Bahá’u’lláh–
…Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.
Iran Press Watch has translated and made available this following update about the wrongful detention of seven leading Baha’is in Iran.
Seven leading Baha’is in Iran, namely Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani and Behrouz Tavakkoli, continue to be incarcerated in the high-security section of Evin Prison [in Tehran].
The aforesaid individuals constituted a group that saw to the needs of the Baha’i community of Iran. These Baha’is were arrested on 5 March 2008 and 14 May 2008 by security agents and transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison, where they have remained since their detention.
The charges against them continue to be unclear and ambiguous, because their lawyer does not have access to their file and also because the prosecutors have spread a great deal of inaccurate and misleading information. As such, these individuals continue to be detained without bond, and their temporary arrest is repeatedly renewed.
Some time ago, after initial investigations were completed, these individuals were transferred from solitary confinement and housed in the general quarters of Section 209 among other prisoners of this prison system. However, towards the end of last month (around mid-December 2008), once again the Ministry of Intelligence removed them from the general population and placed them all in separate cells designated for this purpose, so that they would be separated from other prisoners and in effect have no contact with anyone or be able to interact with the rest of the prison population.
A wave of outrage by the international community and human rights organizations has been provoked by these arrests, by the authorities’ persistence in holding these individuals without due process of law and by the prevention of their lawyer from being able to access their file and charges.