(Persia Digest) - Alou-Esfenaj, or prunes and spinach stew, is an Iranian traditional dish usually cooked in autumn and winter when spinach is easily available.
Although many may not be interested in this food because it is made of spinach, Alou-Esfenaj is one of the most delicious and original Iranian foods with a combination of spinach, prunes and saffron makes it tastier.
Some people use chicken instead of meat to cook Alou-Esfenaj stew. Whether meat or chicken, it is completely based on your own taste. Both would be delicious.
Ingredients (serves 3)
400g Shank beef
300g Alou (Dried prunes)
1 Large onion
Saffron, salt, pepper, lime juice or dried lime, and turmeric to taste
Dice and caramelize the onion; add the beef and sauté until brown. Add some pepper, turmeric and water to the meat and half-cook.
Sauté the spinach in another hot oil pan. Be careful not to overcook it as it gets bitter. Add the spinach to the meat in the last one hour of cooking the stew and let it simmer gently.
While the stew is simmering, wash the prunes and soak them in water for 30 minutes. Then drain, sauté, and add to the stew in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Now you can add the lime juice or dried lime to the stew. Reduce the heat and allow to cook slowly. Add salt in the last part of the cooking.
Serve the delicious Alou-Esfenaj stew with saffron rice.
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