Stella & Ilya’s Purslane with Beef Mince

A recipe from the Politiki Kouzina

Kali Orexi Sharing our Greek culinary heritage through video and stories. Purslane & Beef Mince Hero Landscape

Purslane/ Ανδρακλή / Γλιστρίδες / Ξινίθρες – is a green often considered a weed in gardens and erroneously discarded. When my parents-in-law lived in Istanbul, Romani people collected purslane and wild weeds like chickory and “lapata” from the hillsides outside Istanbul. They walked through the neighbourhoods of Istanbul with baskets filled with the greens and sold them to the locals.

The purslane was used in green salads and in a tzatziki-like dip, where the grated cucumber is substituted with purslane and it was also used in cooked dishes. They cooked a dish called Ξινίθρες με Κιμά / Xinithres me Κima / Purslane with Mince. The purslane is braised in a tomato-based stock with beef mince. The dish is light and herby, with an “al dente” quality to the purslane.
Fast-forward 60+ years, we now collect the purslane that grows here and there in our garden and deliver it to my in-laws, who very generously return it to us transformed into this light, nutritious and delicious dish!
Are you ready to eat your garden weeds?

Stella & Ilya’s Purslane with Beef Mince

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek, turkish
Keyword greek desserts, mince, purslane, turkish


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 
  • 500 g beef mince 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1 large brown onion,   diced
  • 400 g canned diced tomatoes 
  • ½-2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 1 kg purslane, thick stalks removed, cut into small florettes 


Preparing the purslane with beef mince 

  1. Add oil, mince and pepper to a large pot 

  2. Cook on medium-high heat, while pushing down on the mince with a wooden spoon to help break it down 

  3. Continue mixing and pushing down on the mince until it browns 

  4. Add the diced onion and cook till the onion softens a little 

  5. Add the diced tomatoes, salt and sugar and mix through 

  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes with an unvented lid on the pot 

  7. Add the purslane to the pot – you may need to do this in stages if your pot is not big enough to take all of the purslane at once – see video 

  8. Allow the purslane to cook for 2-3 minutes, before gently stirring it through the tomato/mince mixture 

  9. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring gently half way through 

  10. Check the purslane is “al dente” before taking the pot off heat 

Serving the purslane with beef mince 

  1. Serve with a chunk of feta and crusty bread 

    Kali Orexi! 

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