Syrian Mulukhiyah

Mulukhiyah is a middle eastern recipe and also well-liked in North African and East African countries. The name Mulukhyia comes from the word Mulukia meaning it belongs to the Royals. The history goes that the food came from Egypt was solely served to the pharaohs. It was a recipe preferred for royals due to its health advantages.

It is quite bitter, and when boiled, the resulting a thick liquid, extremely mucilaginous broth. Often it’s described as “slimy”, rather like boiled okra. Mulukhiyah is usually eaten cooked, not raw; and most often it becomes a kind of stew or soup. Usually, it is bearing a similar name to the vegetable in the local language. Traditionally, mulukhiyah is cooked with chicken or a minimum of chicken stock for flavor and is served with white rice along with lime or lemon.

How to Make Mulukhiyah?

The dish is made from leaves of the mulukhiyah plant. The plant has many names – bush okra, Jew mallow, jute mallow, molokhia, mulukhiyya, and molohiya, to name but a few. The leaves of this magical plant are highly nutritious, and in the world of cooking, it is majorly referred to as Egyptian spinach. Note that the leaves of the plant are an Egyptian national dish. However, the food is also popular in Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Tunisia.

The leaves have found their way in the recipes of many countries such as Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, and West Africa. The Jewish people used the leaves in their cuisines, and that’s why it is called the Jew’s mallow.

As a perennial plant, you can harvest a lot of leaves from the plant owing to its highly vegetative growth habit. Apart from its nutritional value, the plant is also rich in medicinal properties such as curing of chronic cystitis and dysuria and cosmetic benefits.

When cooked the soup has a mucus feel, with an earthy taste. The taste is due to the rich mineral content it has. The Jew’s mallow leave is rich in folic acid vitamin A, B complex, and E and minerals such as iron and calcium. This vegetable is much compared to spinach. You can complement the flavor of Mulukhiyah with garlic and coriander. Also, you can brighten the taste with fresh lemon juice.

The dish can be served with chicken or beef. To make your mulukhiyah, you can use plain water, or you can use chicken or lamb broth. Recipe type is the central cuisine, and you can serve the mulukhiyah alongside rice and the chicken. Note that the leaves can be used to make salads and other lavish food items.

Syrian Mulukhiyah
Author: Ghada Abdo
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Servings: 6
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  • Chicken
  • 1 kilo fresh Mulukhiyah leaves or pre-chopped frozen Mulukhiyah leaves
  • kilo whole chicken with bones or cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 medium onion (quartered)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt pepper & coriander for seasoning.
  • cups long grain white rice or Egyptian rice
  • Chicken Marination
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper, mixed spices, cinnamon. cardamom, cloves powder
  • cups lemon juice,
  • 2 tablespoons apple vinegar (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Bake Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice,
  • Salt
  • black pepper
  • Taqlia for Mulukhiyah
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoons coarse coriander powder
  • ½ fresh coriander bunch, chopped
  • Serve
  • lemon juice,
Chicken Broth
  1. For fresh Molokai, wash the leaves thoroughly. Spread them onto a kitchen cloth to dry completely. Chop the leaves to the desired size using a sharp knife or the traditional mezzaluna (a utensil for chopping herbs).
  2. Marinate the chicken few hours or the night before with 1 teaspoon of the marination spices.
  3. To cook the chicken, put the chicken over a colander to drain the marination liquids.
  4. On high heat, add the chicken into a pot. Cover on medium to high heat about 4 to 5 minutes until slightly golden brown without adding oil.
  5. To prevent chicken from sticking to the pot use tongs to move the chicken pieces slightly. Cover on medium to high heat about 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Flip the chicken pieces to the other side. Cover on medium to high heat about 4 to 5 minutes until slightly golden brown.
  7. Top the chicken pieces with filtered water, enough to cover the chicken.
  8. Cover the pot on high heat until the water boils.
  9. As soon as the water boils, remove the lid and skim off any scum that accumulates on the surface. Keep skimming until there is no more foam coming up.
  10. Add the onion and the whole spices; black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, mastic and bay leaves.
  11. Reduce the heat, simmer the chicken whole for about 1 hour, or for the chicken pieces for 40 to 45 minutes; until tender.
  12. Remove the chicken pieces with some of the broth to keep the chicken moist into a roasting pan.
  13. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into another pot.
  14. Combine the garlic, coriander powder, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and salt into a paste.
  15. Spread over the chicken.
  16. Bake the chicken in 450F/230C. oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown
  1. Add ghee into a frying pan.
  2. stir in the garlic until begin to change colour.
  3. Add the coriander and salt. Continue stirring until golden brown.
  1. Wash he rice, it is preferable to soak the rice 15 to 30 minutes in salted water prior cooking.
  2. Cook the ride according to the direction on package. Use the chicken broth to cook the rice.
  1. Boil about 4 cups of the strained chicken broth in a pot.
  2. Add the Mulukhiyah into the chicken broth; do not stir.
  3. As soon as the Mulukhiyah begins boils, stir in the tagline.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Stir in the fresh coriander.
  6. Do not cover the Mulukhiyah pot.
  7. Serve with chicken and rice. Add lemon juice to Mulukhiyah as desired.
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