Chef's Recipes

Borani-ye esfenaj (spinach, turmeric and golden raisin dip)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for borani-ye esfenaj (spinach, turmeric and golden raisin dip) by Greg and Lucy Malouf.

By Greg & Lucy Malouf
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 6
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Borani-ye esfenaj (spinach, turmeric and golden raisin dip)
"Borani are a kind of yoghurt 'salad' or side dish and they are made with endless different vegetables and herbs. This is a particularly brilliant combination - serve it as an accompaniment to grilled or roast lamb, spread it onto little toasts or flatbread as a pre-dinner nibble or serve it as a dip with fresh vegetables."


  • 2 scant tbsp golden raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 250 gm spinach leaves
  • 200 gm thick natural yoghurt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice


  • 1
    Soak the golden raisins in a little warm water for 15 minutes, then drain.
  • 2
    Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the shallots until soft and translucent (6-8 minutes). Stir in the turmeric and golden raisins and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • 3
    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 20 seconds (see cook’s notes p226). Refresh in cold water, then squeeze firmly to extract as much liquid as you can. Chop the spinach finely, then mix into the yogurt. Season to taste and add lemon juice.
  • 4
    To serve, mound the spinach and yoghurt into a small bowl and spoon the turmeric, shallot and golden raisin mixture over the top. Alternatively, mix it all together.


Note Reproduced from Saraban ($79.95, hbk) by Greg and Lucy Malouf, published by Hardie Grant Books. Recipes have been reproduced here with minor Gourmet Traveller style changes.

  • Author: Greg & Lucy Malouf