Pic of Middle Eastern spinach

Middle Eastern spinach

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Middle Eastern spinach

Side Serves 4 25 min
Variations on this side dish are eaten across the Middle East. It's good with pitta and chickpeas and/or grilled lamb or chicken. For an optional extra, sprinkle with toasted, chopped walnuts.


  • 250-300g spinach, washed well, leaves stripped from any tough stalks
  • oil for frying
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground, or just use ground
  • approx. 300-400g plain yoghurt
  • cayenne
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    Put a large pan of water on to boil.
  • Step 2

    Boil the spinach for 1-2 mins, until wilted. Drain, run it under cold water to cool, squeeze out excess moisture and chop it up.
  • Step 3

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Gently fry the onion for 10 mins, stirring often.
  • Step 4

    Add the garlic, mustard seeds and cumin. Cook for 2 mins.
  • Step 5

    Stir in the spinach. Add enough yoghurt until it becomes a thick, creamy mixture.
  • Step 6

    Season with cayenne, lemon juice, salt and pepper, all to taste.

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