Borani Esfenaj is a classic Persian appetizer that’s usually served with bread. With a lot of spinach and garlic, this delicious dip is something you don’t want to miss!
Today I’m sharing one of my all time favorite recipes with you. This Borani is one you’ll love and want to have all the time!
This post was first published on Feb 6, 2016. This is an updated version.
Persian cuisine has many different types of appetizers and Borani is one of the most popular ones. It’s delicious, easy and totally addictive.
What is Borani?
Borani is a Persian appetizer that’s made of yogurt and vegetables. Think of hummus, but an Iranian version: smooth, flavorful, healthy and versatile. Borani can be made with eggplants, beetroots, zucchinis, spinach and many other vegetables.
As you might have guessed, in Farsi, spinach is called esfenaj which is what our recipe today is calling for. This Greek yogurt spinach dip is an all time favorite of ours and is the perfect way to have your family eat some vegetables. What I love the most about this recipe is that it’s very simple to put it together and it’s very healthy as spinach is a great source of iron and yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics.
Persian recipes are s full of flavors and spices. Everything is in harmony and there is a reason for using each ingredient, which makes every dish unique. Each dish has a special taste yet is made of simple and fresh ingredients and in many cases it’s naturally vegetarian, paleo or gluten free, which shows what I have always said: homemade food is the best food in the world.
More delicious Persian food:
- Persian Sausage and Potato Skillet – Sosis Bandari
- Kachi – Persian Halva Pudding
- Zereshk Polo Morgh – Persian Barberry Rice with Chicken
- Persian Appetizer Platter
- Persian One Pot Tomato Rice – Dami Gojeh Farangi
- Kashke Bademjan (Persian Eggplant Dip)
- Mast o Khiar (Persian Yogurt and Cucumber Dip)
How to make borani spinach?
The basic borani esfenaj is made with only two ingredients: spinach and yogurt. But usually there are other additions to the recipe such as fried onion, shallots, walnuts, or garlic. My favorite addition is garlic as it gives a nice subtle layer of flavor to this dip. You need 6 cups of baby spinach for this recipe. There is no need to chop them or cut off the stems. Simply place them in a pan over medium low heat until they’re wilted and have released excess water. Add in minced garlic (the more the merrier) and stir over medium heat until excess water is evaporated. Let the mixture cool and then mix it with Greek yogurt and add salt and pepper. This spinach dip is served with Iranian bread, toasted bread or pita chips.
Notes and tips to make borani esfenaj:
- 6 cups of spinach might seem a lot but spinach wilts as it cooks so be generous with spinach. Make sure it’s dry before cooking it as we don’t want any excess water.
- Get the firmest yogurt you can find. Runny yogurt is not suitable for this dip. A combination of half sour cream and half Greek yogurt would work great, too.
- You can use garlic powder instead of garlic. Add garlic powder with salt and pepper before serving.
- You can refrigerate the dip for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Borani Esfenaj - Persian Spinach and Yogurt Dip
- 6 cup Baby Spinach
- 2 cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 1/2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pan on medium heat. (No oil needed)
Place baby spinach in the pan, lower the heat and wait so that the spinach starts wilting.
Once the spinach is wilted, add in mined garlic and stir. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat or until the excess water is evaporated.
Mix the yogurt, spinach and garlic in a bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with toasted Iranian bread, naan, toasted bread or pita chips.