Khoresht Morgh-e Esfenaj – Chicken Stew with Spinach

Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj - Chicken Stew with Spinach

This recipe for Khoresht Morgh-e Esfenaj is a fairly recent addition to our family meals, with my husband finding a recipe when looking online for ideas for dinner one night. We have, of course, adapted it to make it a quick and easy meal. You can make it your own by using different sabzi’s or different citrus juices and create an entirely different combination of tastes.

Things to note when making Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj – Chicken Stew with Spinach

I always like to prepare all the ingredients before I start to cook. Dice the onion and chicken, prepare and chop the sabzis and measure out the spices.

Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj - Chicken Stew with Spinach

Be sure to use enough oil when frying spices with the onions. The spices flavour develops as they are heated and mixed with the oil. Be careful, as at this stage the mixture can easily burn.

Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj - Chicken Stew with Spinach

I will admit that I am a lazy cook, so I do as much as I can to make cooking easy. In this recipe I used tinned chick peas, frozen spinach, and also frozen leek, that I had prepared when a neighbour popped over with some fresh leeks from his garden. The coriander and mint were fresh from our garden, but could be easily be replaced with dried coriander and mint, even dried leek which is readily available from a good middle eastern grocer.

While to dish is simmering, I start the polo rice, and by the time the rice is ready, the Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj has developed into a tantilising, healthy dish ready to eat.  Serve the Khoresht with white rice, a simple mixed leaf salad and (of course) thick natural yogurt on the side.

This recipe for Khoresht Morgh-e Esfenaj serves 12,  and works well if you pack and freeze this into meal sized portions. Always ready for a healthy meal on a busy night. Simply pull from the freezer, microwave to heat and serve with rice or flat bread.

Khoresht Morgh-e Esfanaj - Chicken Stew with Spinach

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: chick peas, Chicken, spinach
Servings: 12 people


  • 3 tlbs olive oil
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 kg chicken breast diced
  • 500 gram spinach
  • 2 medium leeks
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup coriander
  • 2 tins chick peas (400g tins)
  • ½ cup lemon juice


  • heat 2 tlbs oil in a large, heavy based suacepan
  • add onions and gently fry until semi transparent
  • add the turmeric, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cumin, and gently fry until all the oil has been absorbed, and the mixture looks quite dry
  • add the reserved tlb oil with the chicken and cook for around 5 minutes, until the surface of the chicken pieces are sealed
  • add the mint, coriander and fresh leek, and stir fry untill the sabzi looks quite limp
  • Stir through the chopped spinach, and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • add lemon juice, chick peas and enough water to just cover the khoresht
  • bring to the boil and the reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes
  • add more salt or lemon juice to taste and the tinned chick peas
  • simmer for around around 1hour until the flavour has developed and the sauce has slightly thickened


This khoresht is very rich in flavour, and has that lovely torsh tang from the lemon juice.
Serve with white polo rice and a side salad of mixed leaves, tomato and cucumber.
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Chicken · Chicken Khoresht · Khoresht - Stew

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