Borani Esfenaaj – Spinach with yoghurt & walnuts

This is one of two of my favourite yoghurt dish accompaniments to serve with Persian banquet style feasting. However, as I mention below, you can easily serve this up with a bbq or curry and the tang of the yogurt and other flavours works well with most foods. Its delicious served with flat breads and can also be eaten as an appetizer. Think of it like a type of mezze dish that you can incorporate into your regular repetoire instead of the usual suspects like hummus and tzatziki!

Check out my video on how to make this dish below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel to see all the other Persian dishes and other delicious delicacies that I am making in my kitchen!

The addition of live natural yogurt to a meal makes sense when you think about what we know about probiotics these days and apart from the health benefits the “tang” it adds into the mix is a taste-bud sensation!

Serves 4-6 as an accompaniment

400g fresh baby spinach wilted & finely chopped – if you cant find baby use regular but then you will need to steam it util cooked – but not overdone.

2 Cups Greek style yogurt + a couple of extra tablespoons

50g Walnuts chopped and some for garnish.

½ tsp salt

2 tsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic finely minced

1 – 2 tbsp Saffron water

Crispy onions for garnish

Baby spinach works best here as it is soft and non-fibrous


  • Put the spinach into a saucepan with the water clinging to it from washing or add 2 tbsp water.
  • Cover and cook for max 4 mins on a medium-low heat until leaves are wilted. Drain and squeeze all the water out and finely chop!
  • Mix everything together except the saffron and allow flavour to meld for an hour.
  • Garnish with the reserved yogurt mixed with some saffron water and drizzle the remainder of the saffron water over the dish and garnish with crispy onions and walnuts.
To make your Saffron water just take a pinch and grind it in a pestle and mortar until its like powder – you can use a sprinkle of sugar to help the grind. Add 50ml of water and there you have it! Keep in a jar in the fridge and use as needed.

This dish is to be served as an accompaniment to other dishes and goes well with curries and also barbecued meats and grilled fish – you don’t only have to serve it with Persian food.