Spinach with Yogurt (Yoğurtlu Ispanak)


Most of my friends when we were kids ate spinach only because of Popeye. I did not. I ate spinach because my mom made delicious spinach and I never understood how Popeye’s spinach that comes out of a can could be tasty or powerful, especially without yogurt. Here’s my mom’s recipe; almost her recipe, because I made a few moderations in years.

1 1/2 pound (app. 700 gr.) spinach, fresh, chopped into bite sizes- baby spinach would be good, too!
1 big onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tbsp tomato or pepper paste (or half/half)
2-3 tbsp olive oil or for a tastier spinach 3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup rice, definitely white
1/3 cup milk or yogurt (milk helps with that weird taste on your teeth after eating spinach) [half&half or even heavy cream could be nice and creamy as well]
1 cup hot water
1/2 tsp (or as much as you want) black pepper
pepper flakes

-Heat the oil in a pot and add onion and garlic. Stir for 10 minutes or until they’re cooked and add tomato/pepper paste. Stir on medium heat for an other 3-4 minutes.
-If it’s fresh, add spinach in small batches, and as they wilt, keep adding more. Stir for approximately 10 minutes until spinach changes into a darker green.
-Add rice and cook stirring for a minute or two.
-Pour first milk,yogurt, half&half or whatever you decided to use, cook for a minute or two.
-Add hot water, black pepper and salt to your taste. (This spinach dish is great with some heat, so feel free to add pepper flakes)
-Cook on low heat until rice is cooked (approximately for 30 minutes).
-Serve with yogurt on the side. Spinach means nothing to me if I don’t mix it with yogurt, yet again there are a lot of people who like it plain.

PS: To digress from the Turkish recipe towards an Indian touch, replace tomato/pepper paste with curry.

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