Molokheya ( various spellings) also called Jew’s mallow or jute is one of Egypt’s national dishes. It is a green leafy vegetable, similar in appearance to spinach. It has a very slimy texture. I first ate this at a friend’s house in Cairo and it was delicious.
The Ancient Egyptians enjoyed it too.
The leaves are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. It has more than 32 vitamins and also aids digestion. Its carotene and calcium contents are much higher than spinach or broccoli. It can boost our immune system to prevent cancer and high blood pressure. It also is excellent for the skin. No wonder Cleopatra loved eating it.
There are many ways to cook it but they are all variations on the familiar green nutritious soup.
In our recipe below we serve it with chicken. Rabbit is also eaten with molokheya and in Alexandria it is served with shrimps.
Molokheya and chicken and rice
To serve 2
2 large chicken breasts
half bunch coriander chopped very finely
1 bag of fresh molokheya ( dried or frozen) Use the leaves only, chopped very finely
3 cloves of garlic
1 chopped onion
salt and pepper
half a lemon
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 litre boiling water
2 tomatoes chopped finely
Put the onion in a large saucepan with the oil and cook until golden.
Add the chicken breasts and seal in the oil. Add the water, salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes over a medium heat.
When the chicken is tender take it out and leave to one side.
Use halve the stock in the saucepan to cook the rice over a medium heat, for about 20 minutes.
Put the teaspoon of butter in another saucepan and add the crushed garlic, cook until golden then add the tomatoes. Add the rest of the stock. Leave to boil. Then add the coriander and molokheya cook for five minutes.
Serve rice and chicken on plates. Squeeze the lemon of the chicken. Put the Molokheya in soup dishes and serve at the side. It can be spooned over the rice or eaten separately as soup.