Yogurt and Spinach Dip (Borani-e Esfenaj) {Video}

Keep cool and snack healthy with this Persian Yogurt and Spinach Dip (Borani-e Esfenaj).

Yogurt and Spinach Dip (Borani-e Esfenaj) by FamilySpice.com

Summer appetizers are a real treat. You have a wide assortment of produce you can choose from to make it something special. This appetizer doesn’t use seasonal ingredients, but because it is made with yogurt and is served cold, it really is refreshing to serve on a hot summer day. This is an easy Persian appetizer, Yogurt and Spinach Dip (Borani-e Esfenaj).

You sauté your onions and add garlic and chopped spinach, cook for a few minutes, and then let cool. Stir in your yogurt, the thick sour Middle-Eastern yogurt and let it sit in the fridge for the flavors to blend. I made took this to my friend’s house for a pool/dinner date and we were all munching away. Of course, the pita chips don’t hurt either!

Yogurt and Spinach (Borani-e Esfenaj)

A delicious Persian spinach dip made with thick, sour yogurt makes this special and super easy. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup spinach, fresh, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 1/2 cup yogurt, plain Greek
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 TBS walnuts, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add:
    • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  2. Add to the hot oil:
    • 1 onion , chopped
  3. When onions start to soften, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions brown slightly, about 7 minutes.
  4. Mix in:
    • 1 1/2 cup spinach, fresh , chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  5. Cook for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. In a large bowl add cooled spinach mix with:
    • 2 1/2 cup yogurt, plain Greek
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  8. Mix until combined, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.
  9. When ready to serve, transfer to serving bowl and garnish with:
    • 1 TBS walnuts , chopped (optional)


Serving Suggestions: Serve with pita bread, chips and/or an assortment of vegetables.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 8

Cook Time:

Yogurt and Spinach (Borani-e Esfenaj) Detail

Yogurt and Eggplant Dip (Borani-e Bademjoon) by FamilySpice.com

Another great yogurt appetizer is Yogurt and Eggplant Dip (Borani-e Bademjoon). This recipe is lighter than the traditional recipe because I roast the eggplants in the oven, instead of pan-frying.

Persian Yogurt with Cucumber (Maast-o Khiar) by FamilySpice.com

And my final Persian yogurt appetizer is Persian Yogurt with Cucumbers (Mast-o Khiar). No cooking involved with this one! Simply mix chopped cucumbers with dill, mint and yogurt. You can also add walnuts and raisins to it. This is especially popular with the kidlets.

All of these recipes can be used as an appetizer or a side dish.

And here’s a video tutorial on how to make yogurt:

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