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+ servings

Khoresh Aloo Esfenaj

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Spinach and golden plum stew with lamb
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course khoresh, Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4


  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons ghee or olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb lamb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1 1/2 cups water, adjust as needed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup Aloo Zard, Persian golden plums
  • 4 tablespoons Ab Ghooreh (unripe sour grape juice), or lemon juice, adjust to your taste
  • 4 bunches spinach, roughly chopped


  • In a large frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of ghee and saute the onions on medium heat for about 10 minutes before adding the lamb and turmeric. Continue to saute for another 5 minutes. The lamb and onions should have turned a beautiful golden color and become aromatic.
  • Add water, cover and cook for 60 minutes on low heat or until the meat is fully cooked and tender.
  • In the meantime, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee and saute the spinach over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until the spinach has fully wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Once the meat has been cooked, add the salt, pepper, Aloo Zard and Ab Ghooreh and increase the temperature a bit so to remove most (but not all) of the remaining liquid. This is a dry(er) stew and should not be watery.
  • Add the previously sauteed spinach to the meat mixture, lower the flame, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve the Khoresh with Persian steamed basmati rice with a side of yogurt.


This dish can also be prepared with beef or chicken.  Adjust cooking time accordingly.
The meat can be completely eliminated and the cooking time and liquid reduced to create a simple spinach and plum side dish. 
Depending on the age of your Aloo Zard, you may need to first soak it in water for an hour. 
Keyword lamb, plums, spinach
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