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Authentic Middle Eastern Molokhia is a Middle Eastern super-green – super food.  It has some other names, like  Jew’s mallow (from the fella they think introduced it to the Pharoahs) or Egyptian spinach – though let me tell you it is nothing like regular spinach, other than being green and nutritionally dense.  In fact, it is much more like and sometimes prepared with okra due to its mucilaginous texture.But, that first taste, the mixture of citrus and the molokhia, the garlic and onion and that’s as far as the slime gets – you forget all about the texture and eat as much – as fast as you can – it is just that delicious!Now, the first time I had it was with chicken, we tasted it all separated. The molokhia and chicken stock with the vermicelli rice served on the side with a couple of wedges of lemon to be squeezed over your molochia soup, or sauce.  My second bowl was all kind of spun together, a spoonful of rice dumped smack dab in the middle of my molokhia.Like most dark leafy greens it has a rich vitamin and mineral profile. This so called “food of kings” (the Arabic name  plays on a derivative of  mulukiya — literally translated as ‘kingly’, or “of the kings) and has a lengthy history right back to the days of the pharaohs, when it was used to help an Egyptian royal to recuperate from his sickbed.Today, due to its naturally dense and renewable yield, and its onsite cultivation and processing, make it a sustainable raw material with a low environmental impact. How about that?  It is not only good for you, it is great for our planet too!  In the US, you can usually find it in an Arabic market, but in the frozen section.  I have it on good authority that it is almost as good as the fresh leaves, and a lot less work.It’s one of the most popular vegetable dishes in the Middle East with most families having it on at least a weekly basis.  Some grow up eating it with crispy pita bread and others love it just by itself.Molokhiat is very versatile and can be prepared (depending on what part of the world you are from) in a wide variety of ways, dried, powdered, fresh or frozen  – though it has yet to be discovered to its full potential.However, the secret is getting out,  and nowadays is finding its home in gardens and kitchens as distant as Japan. In fact, Japanese recipes combine slippery, slimy foods like okra with molokhia and fermented soybeans, mountain potato, to be slurped, I mean enjoyed, with soba noodles or over steamed rice.This hardy and easy-to-grow plant has been a invaluable source of fiber and minerals for generations. Packed with essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as a great source of vitamins C, E, and K, molokhia and other greens in this family are truly major heavyweights of nutrition. .Benefits from this family of “slimy” foods (like chia, flax and aloe vera)  include therapeutic value for the digestion.  Another added advantage is that the slipperiness is believed to assist the cardiovascular system and actually discourage clot formation (like Plavix, but without the warnings of side effects to your liver).Though the fresh leaves can be stored in a plastic or paper bag in the refrigerator, much like spinach or field greens, molokhia takes on its unique mucilaginous texture after being chopped and boiled which adds to its difficulty in being accepted by our Western society.  But, take it from me, while I’m all for Western and Southern, this dish will knock your boots off and leave you begging for more. So get slimed, you’ll love it and you might even feel a little more royal or at least richly fed after consuming this delightful dish.For the Western palate, try this simple yet mouth-watering introductory approach to molokhia: Ingredients:  2 pkgs of molokhia ( minced )
One whole chicken or large pkg of drumsticks
10 cups of water ( becomes about 6 cups of broth)
One yellow onion   One head of garlic
1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro One chicken bouillon cube
Teaspoon of cooking oil     Salt   Allspice  LemonBoil chicken with water, onion, salt, and allspice. Smash garlic, and chop up cilantro.  Saute with oil. Once chicken is ready, save broth, and debone chicken.
Drain the broth from onions, and save the broth for the molokhia. Add pkgs of molokhia, garlic, and cilantro mixture to broth. Also crumble chicken bouillon cube into the broth. Add chicken. Stir and cook for about ten to 15 minutes or until  warm.Serve with Middle Eastern vermicelli rice or steamed white rice. Squeeze lemon over dish and enjoy!!If there are any specific recipes you would like to see demonstrated please leave a comment in the feedback section.  Thank you for watching Deb’s DigestPost any question and I will respond quickly.  Please Subscribe Deb Mesa
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