Spinach stew (Yakhnet sabanegh)


This stew is for me the epitome of Lebanese home cooking; it is extremely plain, just spinach, a little meat and some garlic and cilantro. However,  it is very very good and really does a fine job of showcasing spinach. 

If you can, use fresh spinach, preferably organic. Chop and use the stems as well. Flavor is added with mashed garlic and chopped cilantro. 

The stew is served with some rice and quartered lemons. If you don’t want to use meat, you can substitute lentils or mung beans or chickpeas.

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 4 bunches of fresh spinach
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2  pound of ground beef or 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tsp of fresh mashed garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large lemon plus 1 more lemon 
  • olive oil, as needed
  • salt, pepper
  1. Chop the onions fine and fry in  olive oil till translucent in a big pot. Add the meat and fry until it loses its pink color, breaking it down with two wooden spoons as much as possible. Season the meat. Add the mashed garlic; add the cilantro and fry for a few seconds;  add one cup of water and the chopped spinach. Stir a bit and let the spinach wilt. Add the juice of a lemon, cover the pot and let the stew simmer very gently 15 minutes, then serve warm with white rice.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print This Post Print This Post


  1. Posted March 14, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    A dish for me! I love spinach so much.



  2. Posted March 14, 2012 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Amazing. Absolute yum.
    I had exactly this last evening, minus the beef and with Feta plus a delicious dried berries and nuts mixture. Oh my gosh it was good. :)

  3. Posted March 14, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    I love how this highlights spinach in such a simple but wonderful way. Funny that I was just thinking: what to do with this bunch of spinach in my fridge? well, now I now!

  4. Posted March 14, 2012 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    I love spinach and this sounds like a lovely way to serve it. It makes me hungry just looking at the picture.

  5. Posted March 14, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Mmmm love spinach and this is such a wonderful way to cook it and highlight it as the center of the meal. Simple, too. Perfect!

  6. Lucy
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I use to make this but added Chicken legs with some soy sauce……

  7. Posted March 14, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I adore spinach! What a perfect dish for me.

    Joumana, have I ever told you how much I love your collection of plates and serving dishes? Well, I do! :)

  8. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Love anything spinach! What a delicious looking and healthy meal.

  9. Ed Habib
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My good friend from Northern Lebanon makes something like this with Black eyed peas and it is wonderful. He uses swiss chard as well.

  10. Joumana
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    @Ed: I have had that dish and I loved it! (the one with swiss chard and black eyed peas)

  11. Posted March 15, 2012 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Superbe plat et bonne idée pour cuire et présenter les épinards autrement!!
    Merci pour le partage et Bonne journée.

  12. Posted March 15, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I like that you offer the alternative of chickpeas – I might actually go with that as my first choice, as the flavor of the spinach and legumes sounds light and appealing.

  13. Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I grow spinach in my garden, and I can;t wait – just a month or two and I will have plenty of fresh spinach to make this recipe!

  14. Tiya
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    u might think i am crazy but I would love to see a closer pic of the fork in this pic with precious stones wired to its handle. Very interesting!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>