Monday, September 19, 2011

Spinach with Ground Beef (Kiymali Ispanak)

Vegetable stews of Turkish cuisine are simple, light, healthy and delicious. Here's another one cooked with spinach. Don't forget to have plain yogurt on the table; this stew is served warm with cool yogurt which truly complements the spinach beautifully.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 oz. ground beef (preferably 80/20)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 lb/16 oz spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups hot water (plus more, if necessary)
  • Plain yogurt, for serving


  • Heat vegetable oil in the pot. Add diced onion and ground beef. Breaking up the ground beef and mixing it with onion, saute over medium-high heat until onion is translucent and ground beef is no longer pink.
  • Add the tomato paste and 1 cup hot water; mix lightly to dissolve the paste in water.
  • Add the spinach, pepper, salt and rice. Add the rest of the hot water and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat; then lower the heat and simmer until the spinach and rice are cooked (spinach turns from bright dark green to yellowish dark green and rice grains become longer and completely soft to the bite). Add more water along the way, if necessary, to prevent the stew from drying, and depending on how thick vs. soupy you like your stew.

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