Spinach With Yogurt (Yoğurtlu Ispanak)

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 Most of my friends when we were kids ate spinach only because of 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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