Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip - Borani Esfanaaj

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins

Delicious but you must like walnuts. Modified from a recipe found on by shayma.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Steam baby spinach until just wilted.
  2. Drain well and chop fine.
  3. Mince 1/2 medium clove garlic and saute in 1 tbs unrefined extra virgin olive oil, then add the chopped spinach and a pinch or two sea salt. Stir.
  4. Remove from stove and allow to cool, then squeeze out excess liquid.
  5. Toast chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Be careful not to burn! Set aside to cool.
  6. In a bowl and the yogurt, other half minced garlic, baby spinach, and dried mint and sea salt to taste, stir gently.
  7. Transfer to the bowl you are serving it in (I use a shallow, round bowl) and sprinkle with toasted, chopped walnuts and a trail of unrefined extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Serve with lavash (flatbread from Iran) or "some crisped-up-in-the-oven whole wheat pita bread!" (Yes we don't do that being gluten free! I use more yogurt and serve this as a salad to mix with Middle Eastern rice dishes.).
  9. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

Made this last night for us, and finished off earlier today. Just as good the second day around. The Balkan yogurt combined makes this a winner. Went well with the walnuts too. I microwaved the walnuts for 15 second to warm them up. Tagged and made for The Best of 2012.

weekend cooker January 28, 2013

(*Original review 9 February 2012. Resubmitted to add a star review.*)Delicious and very simple to make! To steam the spinach I placed it in a steamer basket and brought the water to the boil. *As soon as* the water came to a boil I immediately removed the spinach and transferred it to a food processor. Then the spinach and garlic were chopped finely on the PULSE setting. In a clean, dry pan the walnuts were toasted and set aside. Cleaned out the pan with a towel and [lightly] cooked the spinach and garlic in olive oil. A small amount of the spinach was set aside for garnishing and the rest stirred into the yogurt as directed. Walnuts were chopped and garnished around the dip and a few whole walnuts were set aside to garnish on top of the yogurt. Made for NA*ME tag/February! Served with: Easy Basturma Meatballs, Barbari (A Persian Bread), basic chelo and steamed vegetables. Thanks!

COOKGIRl July 23, 2012

WOW! This is the best spinach dish I ever had!
I used 10 % Turkish bread ans self picked walnuts. It was soooo gooood that next time I will prepare the double amount and I'm sure I will not have leftovers. This is dream dish!
We enjojed it with Persian flatblread (Barbari (A Persian Bread)).
Thanks a lot for this great dish!

awalde January 29, 2012