Spinach Balls with Yogurt

Yalancı ıspanak köftesi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

A yalancı dish, literally a ‘deceptive’ or ‘false’ dish, is usually a simplified or mock version of a well known one. This yalancı ıspanak köftesi, a simple dish of cooked spinach rolled into balls and served with garlic-flavoured yogurt, acts as an impostor to the more labour-intensive köfte, which consist of mashed ingredients, kneaded and moulded into a variety of shapes which are then usually fried or grilled.


  • 1 lb/450 g fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and steamed
  • 4 tablespoons thick yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Drain the steamed spinach well. Pull off small clumps and roll into bite-size balls in the palm of your hand.
  • Beat the yogurt with the garlic and most of the dill to a smooth, thick consistency. Season to taste.
  • Place the spinach balls on a plate, spoon the yogurt over them, and sprinkle with the remaining dill.