Koresh Esfenaj

Nura’s recipe

Koresh esfenaj has a hearty yet slightly sweet flavor. Unlike most American main dishes, Persian main dishes sometimes utilize fruit as a main ingredient; you may find the sweet flavor a little unusual at first.

Servings: About 4

Ingredients for koresh esfenaj

1 lb. chuck steak

1 onion, chopped

1 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach

12 pitted prunes

Lemon juice (to taste)

3 T. dried parsley

2 t. dried mint, crushed

2 t. turmeric

1 t. cinnamon

2 T. oil


Step 1: Cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the meat and onion with the cinnamon and turmeric (salt to taste). 

Step 2: Add 1 cup water. Add the frozen spinach, parsley, and mint. Simmer 15 minutes until the spinach is thoroughly heated. 

Step 3: Add the prunes and lemon juice. Simmer until the prunes are plump and mushy (30-40 minutes).

Recipe © Nura Amerson 1991

Spinach stew on rice
Koresh esfenaj garnished with parsley and a prune

Layli’s Reflections

One of my favorite Persian dishes, a drumstick stew, also features dried fruit (prunes and apricots). The combination of sweet and savory is quite tasty. In koresh esfenaj, I found that the stewed prunes were my favorite part of the dish. So, I’d recommend adding even more than the twelve that the recipe calls for!

Jasmine’s Reflections

Spinach stew on stovetop
Spinach stew in bowl

For “meat” I used Quorn meatless pieces, which resemble chicken more than steak, and it worked quite well. I enjoyed trying a pruney dish!

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