Flavorful Borani Esfanaaj Recipe to Delight Your Taste Buds

I invite you to indulge in a luxurious and exotic culinary experience with this Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip, also known as Borani Esfanaaj. This sumptuous dish holds the essence of Persian cuisine and can beautifully complement a variety of dishes or be enjoyed alone as a side dish.

If you’re looking for something easy to make but also elegant and impressive, this dip is perfect for you. It has a creamy texture thanks to the yogurt, and the spinach will add depth to its flavour. Not only that, but this dish is naturally healthy too, making it ideal for those who follow a health-conscious diet.

The Persian version of spinach yogurt dip is incredibly popular; it’s usually served with bread, and it has become a cultural staple that’s essentially a must-try for anyone looking to explore Persian cuisine. However, this recipe is a different take on the classic Borani Esfanaaj.

What makes this version Borani Esfenaj special is the factor that it’s made with fresh spinach instead of fried spinach like in the classic recipe version. We’ll top it with walnuts, dried mint, sea salt, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil – all ingredients that add luxury and depth to the flavours profile.

So let us travel through Iranian cuisine from your home by making this delicious dip!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip - Borani Esfanaaj
Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip – Borani Esfanaaj

As an esteemed chef, I can tell you that this Borani Esfanaaj recipe is one of my personal favorites. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a mouthwatering dip to spice up their mealtime.

The ingredient list alone will have you salivating; we’ve got creamy yogurt, fresh spinach, garlic, dried mint, and extra virgin olive oil, to name a few. The mix of these savory ingredients creates a flavor profile that’s absolutely irresistible.

One of the reasons you’ll love this recipe is that it is so easy to make. With only a handful of ingredients, you can whip up this Persian-style dip in no time, and it requires minimal preparation. Plus, if you’re looking to switch things up in the kitchen, this dip can be an excellent way to introduce new flavors and spice up your usual routine.

Another reason why this dip is so great is its versatility. You can use it as a side dish or an appetizer and serve it with bread or pita chips. It even makes for a unique sandwich spread or salad dressing.

Not to mention, spinach is an incredibly healthy ingredient packed with essential vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. So, not only does this dip taste amazing, but it’s also good for you!

So take a chance on this incredible Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip recipe – Borani Esfanaaj; you won’t regret it! From its rich flavor profile to its health benefits and ease of preparation – this recipe has everything you need to make your next meal unforgettable.

Ingredient List

 Creamy and flavorful Borani Esfanaaj, a perfect party appetizer.
Creamy and flavorful Borani Esfanaaj, a perfect party appetizer.

Let’s start with the main ingredients for Borani Esfanaaj – Persian yogurt and spinach dip! This classic Persian appetizer typically calls for fresh spinach, but you may also use fried spinach. Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious dip:


  • 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup of fried or fresh spinach
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mint
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of walnuts, chopped (optional)

Note that if using fresh spinach, make sure to blanch it before adding it to the dip. With just these nine ingredients, you can make an authentic version of Borani Esfanaaj in no time!

The Recipe How-To

 A unique blend of spinach and yogurt in Borani Esfanaaj that will surprise your taste buds.
A unique blend of spinach and yogurt in Borani Esfanaaj that will surprise your taste buds.

If you’re in a rush and looking for an easy make-ahead persian-style spinach-yogurt dip, then look no further. Borani Esfanaaj is the answer to your dips and appetizers prayers. This Iranian yogurt and spinach dip was a revelation when I first tried it on a trip to Iran – so tangy, refreshing, and packed with flavor from the earthy spinach, fragrant herbs, and creamy yogurt. Here’s how to make it at home.


  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk creamy yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • Dried mint (optional)


  1. Clean and finely chop the fresh spinach leaves. In a pan, heat up some extra-virgin olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.
  2. Now that your spinach is wilted, add the chopped garlic to the hot pan and fry until fragrant – about one minute.
  3. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool down a bit.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled spinach-garlic mixture with plain whole-milk creamy yogurt.
  5. Season with sea salt and dried mint**–optional but highly recommended–stir well.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fried spinach or walnuts if you prefer.

This dip is usually served with bread or as a side dish to main dishes as its sourness makes it an excellent complement to rich, heavy dishes like meat skewers or roasted vegetables. It also adds interest as part of a mezze spread or party platter; keep it refrigerated before serving.

This versatile Persian spinach-yogurt dip borani esfenaj can be easily made ahead of time as all ingredients retain their flavors really well even after being stored for several hours in refrigeration – just remember not to leave it out of the fridge more than two hours at room temperature.


Substitutions and Variations

 This Iranian dip Borani Esfanaaj is a healthy and delicious snack.
This Iranian dip Borani Esfanaaj is a healthy and delicious snack.

As with any classic recipe, there are always ways to add your own twist or tailor the dish to your liking. Here are a few substitutions and variations to consider when making Borani Esfanaaj:

– Instead of walnuts, try experimenting with other nuts such as almonds or pistachios for added crunch and flavor.

– For a vegan option, swap the creamy yogurt for coconut or soy yogurt and the extra virgin olive oil for a plant-based oil.

– If you prefer a more garlicky dip, add an extra clove of garlic to the mix or grate fresh ginger root for additional zing.

– To make this dish more substantial, stir in some cooked quinoa or roasted sweet potato cubes into the dip before serving.

– If fresh spinach is not available, frozen spinach can be used in a pinch. Simply thaw and drain before adding it to the mixture.

– For a bit of heat, sprinkle some chili flakes on top of the dip before serving or mix in some minced jalapeno pepper.

Remember that borani esfenaj is a versatile dip that can be adjusted based on personal preferences. However you choose to make it, don’t forget to let the flavors sit and meld together for about an hour before serving for optimal taste. Experiment and have fun with this Persian classic!

Serving and Pairing

 Gather your friends and family around for some scrumptious Borani Esfanaaj.
Gather your friends and family around for some scrumptious Borani Esfanaaj.

Once you have mastered this Borani Esfanaaj recipe, you’ll be eager to serve it up and enjoy its rich flavors. One of the great aspects of this dip is that it’s versatile and pairs with an array of dishes, making it perfect for any occasion.

If you’re hosting a casual gathering or party, serve this delicious Persian-style spinach dip as an appetizer with fresh breadsticks or pita chips. You could also include a plate with a mix of veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers for an even healthier option.

This creamy yogurt-based dip also goes well as a side dish alongside grilled meats or fish. It’s the perfect addition to a summer BBQ spread. The yogurt layer helps to balance out the rich flavors and spices used in many grilled dishes.

For those looking to expand their taste buds and experiment with this Borani Esfanaaj recipe, try pairing it with other Middle Eastern dishes such as lamb kabobs dipped together in both the yogurt and spinach layers of the dish.

To add a bit more texture to the dish while simultaneously incorporating some healthy fats, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top before serving. A dash of dried mint offers another layer of flavor and freshness that complements the creamy yogurt tang.

Whatever your choice may be, sit back and enjoy the beauty that comes from combining fresh spinach, creamy yogurt, fragrant garlic, and extra virgin olive oil into this classic Persian appetizer that melts in your mouth.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Sneak in some healthy greens with Borani Esfanaaj.
Sneak in some healthy greens with Borani Esfanaaj.

As with most dips, this Borani Esfanaaj recipe can be made ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld together. Simply store it in the fridge for up to two days before serving. Be sure to cover the dip with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent any unwanted odors from seeping into the dish.

Additionally, if you have any leftover dip, storing it is also easy. The creamy yogurt and spinach concoction can be placed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, it should be noted that due to its fresh spinach content, it should not be frozen.

If you’re planning on reheating the dip or serving it warm, do so gently over low heat as high temperatures can cause it to separate or become watery. Microwave reheating is not recommended as it can also lead to the same negative effects.

Overall, this dish is perfect for making ahead of time for parties, gatherings or even meal prepping. And with simple storage and reheating instructions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy this delectable Persian-style Borani Esfanaaj whenever you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A classic Iranian snack, Borani Esfanaaj is a crowd pleaser.
A classic Iranian snack, Borani Esfanaaj is a crowd pleaser.

To achieve perfect results with this Persian Borani Esfanaaj recipe, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. First of all, it’s crucial to wash your spinach thoroughly and remove any stems and bad leaves. You can use fresh or frozen spinach for this recipe, but the fresh one gives more flavor and a brighter color.

Secondly, make sure to use creamy yogurt with a fat content of at least 3%. It makes the dip rich and creamy while balancing out the tanginess of yogurt. Greek yogurt is also suitable for this recipe, but it may need some additional water to thin out the dip.

Another important step is to fry the garlic slowly and on low heat so it doesn’t burn. Burnt garlic may produce bitter taste which alter the flavor balance in this recipe. Instead, sauté finely chopped garlic in extra virgin olive oil until it releases its aroma and starts to turn golden brown.

Adding dried mint is an essential ingredient in Persian cuisine, including Borani Esfanaaj. Make sure you crush the dried mint between your fingers before adding it to the dip. This will enhance its flavor and make it more aromatic.

For extra crunch and texture, garnish your dip with toasted walnuts just before serving. They will add a nutty flavor that complements the dip’s creaminess and freshness.

Lastly, don’t over mix the ingredients when blending them together; otherwise, you risk making Borani Esfanaaj runny instead of thickening nicely. You can also put some cooked spinach aside and mix it in after blending everything together for an extra texture or if you want your dip chunkier.

Following these tips will ensure that you make an unforgettable Borani Esfanaaj that is full of flavor, texture, and aroma.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Borani Esfanaaj is a delightful dish that does justice to Persian cuisine. With its unique combination of fresh spinach, creamy yogurt, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil, it’s no surprise that this dish has become a fan favorite all around the world.

Overall, this recipe is easy to make in just a few simple steps and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients – everything you need can be sourced from your local grocery store or marketplace. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party with friends or simply looking for an appetizer to have on hand for snacking, this recipe is versatile enough to suit any occasion.

So why not give it a try? Your taste buds will thank you for the flavors and textures that only traditional Persian cuisine can provide. Borani Esfanaaj – the perfect yogurt & spinach dip, awaits your palate!

Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip - Borani Esfanaaj

Iranian Yogurt and Spinach Dip - Borani Esfanaaj Recipe

Delicious but you must like walnuts. Modified from a recipe found on http://www.food52.com by shayma.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Iranian
Servings 2
Calories 327.3 kcal


  • 6 ounces Baby Spinach
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 2 cups balkan yogurt (thick type only please)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint (only use dried please!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see recipe)


  • Steam baby spinach until just wilted.
  • Drain well and chop fine.
  • 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.
  • Remove from stove and allow to cool, then squeeze out excess liquid.
  • Toast chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Be careful not to burn! Set aside to cool.
  • In a bowl and the yogurt, other half minced garlic, baby spinach, and dried mint and sea salt to taste, stir gently.
  • 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.
  • 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.).
  • Enjoy!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 353gCalories: 327.3kcalCarbohydrates: 17.1gProtein: 13.3gFat: 24.6gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31.9mgSodium: 181.6mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Greens, Middle Eastern, Ramadan, Savory, Spinach, Vegetable, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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