Reyhâniyye – Kalye of Spinach

“Kalye of Spinach” is another recipe dating back to 15th century. It is from the translation Sirvani made in 15th century of the book Kitabü’t-Tabih which dates back to 13th century.

This is one of the 17 “Kalye” meals which is found in the Topkapi Palace food list. It was prepared frequently in the winters and was popular. It is a hard recipe to make, but the result will be rewarding.


Kalye of Spinach

Difficulty 8 out of 10
Servings 6


  • 1 kg. Spinach
  • 750 gr. Lamb meat
  • 300 gr. Lamb mince
  • 4 tablespoons Clarified Butter or 5 tb. regular butter
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Mastic
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt


  1. Dice and fry the lamb meat in clarified butter. You can also use tail fat, if you prefer.
  2. When fried, add boiling water to cover the meat.
  3. Keep it boiling for a few minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Mastic, ground black pepper and salt.
  4. While the meat is cooking start preparing the meat balls.
  5. Add the remaining spices to the lamb mince and knead to mix well. Then prepare small meatballs with this mixture and let them rest.
  6. Grind the spinach to soften them.
  7. Place the rested meatballs on top of the cooking meat.
  8. Add the spinach on top.
  9. Close to end of cooking, grind the garlic clove and add whatever is remaining from the ground coriander seeds, cumin and cinnamon and add in some more salt and ground black peppers. Add this mixture to the saucepot and mix.
  10. Lower the heat and let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.
  11. Let the meal rest in the pot for some time after you turn the heat off. Then serve.
  12. Enjoy.

Tips and Tricks for Kalye of Spinach


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