A peasant food, at its core! And let’s face it, I’d eat like a peasant any day when the dish tastes this rich and yummy, and is yet very simple, quick and inexpensive!
Nargesi’s origin is back in the Caspian Sea region of Iran, where produce and vegetables are abundant. Spinach is a cherished and prized leafy green that is not only eaten raw in salads, but also cooked in various stews. It is a common belief in Iran that spinach adds flavor and more importantly a certain level of viscosity to stews.
However, it is also believed that spinach adds a certain level of grittiness or chalkiness. Not to worry, though: Iranians have a remedy for that too! Spinach is almost exclusively added to dishes in the company of fresh herbs (sabzi). Herbs not only reduce spinach’s chalkiness, but also make it more appetizing and aromatic.
In this dish, spinach is combined with parsley and mint to achieve a flavorful balance and a pleasant mouth experience.
- 3 bunches fresh spinach, cut into large pieces
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
- 4 eggs
- Place the spinach in a large frying pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
- Place the spinach in a strainer and remove the excess liquid. Do not press or squeeze all of the liquid out of the spinach. Save the liquid for other uses in soups or stews.
- In the same frying pan, add the olive oil and saute the onions over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until they have turned lightly brown.
- Add the minced garlic and turmeric and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Use a spoon to pull back some of the spinach to make a small space, and crack an egg into it. Continue until all the eggs have been cracked into the pan.
- Cover and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat. The eggs should be cooked, but somewhat soft and runny.
- Serve with Persian flat breads or steamed basmati rice with a side of plain yogurt.