Molokhia/ Mlukia ~ Chicken Jute Leave Stew

 

After a few months of hiatus, the MENA Cooking Club is back with a bang! I am so glad that the challenge is back into its feet and hoping that it continues without any hitches in the future, InShaAllah… You can refer to my previous MENACC posts here

 

This month, we were asked to explore Jordan. Originally known as “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”, this beautiful country shares its borders with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Palestine and is blessed with the two seas – the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. The country is a haven for people who love to learn history. The changes in the kingdoms over the centuries has made the country rich in the historical sense. Jordan is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world and has a thriving tourism industry, which unfortunately due to the unrest of its neighbors is slowly taking a hit. Petra, Amman and the Dead Sea is definitely a few of the attractions that many of us would like to go and experience in our life time and that includes me.

 

 

We were given three choices as is usually given – Freekeh soup, Mlukia/ Molokhia and Jordanian coffee. When the email came in, I was really wondering how I would manage to cook up for the challenge, since my guests are only leaving tomorrow and it is not easy to cook up something alien that they wouldn’t eat. As I read through the challenge, my heart skipped a beat as I read “Mlukia”. I didn’t get it in the beginning but as I watched the video, I got really excited! Ask me why… I had a pack of frozen Molokhia in my freezer for a long time wanting to try it ever since I saw it on Fami’s space. Finally I cooked it up early last month, and I couldn’t believe my eyes that I am posting something from my drafts for this challenge! *happy dance* I am really happy I am not having to skip this challenge, Alhamdulillah… 🙂

 

Molokhiyah – it is spelled in a lot of ways! – is basically the leaves of jute plant. It is very commonly used in cuisines in the Arab and North African region. The leaves in itself are slightly bitter and when cooked, gives a very slimy appearance with a fish-like smell. It is usually made into soup or stew and served with plain white rice. Even though this dish is more popular in Egypt, it has its variations across many Arab countries including Jordan, and even Cyprus too! The preparation of this dish varies from family to family and on personal preferences. The simplest is cooking the leaves in chicken or beef stock, and you can make it as elaborate as possible!

 

 

As mentioned earlier, I have used frozen leaves, since I am not really familiar with selecting fresh ones and secondly, it makes my life easier! 😉 I used this recipe as a guide and worked my stew around it. I must say it was really flavorful, much more than I had expected it to be. I was really not sure how much the folks would like the green soup, but HD and B loved it so much, that they asked me to make this as regularly as possible. InShaAllah, I am already planning to include this into our menu for Ramadan and have stocked up a couple of frozen packs when I got in at a special offer! 😉

 

End note: Do not skip or skimp on the garlic tempering. I tasted the stew without it, and later after the tempering was added, and I must say it pushes up this humble dish thousand notches over! No, I am not kidding… 🙂

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Molokhia/ Mlukia ~ Chicken Jute Leave Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 350 gm boneless chicken, chopped into small peices
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 400 gm pack frozen molokhia (jute leaves)
  • FOR TEMPERING:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil. Fry the onions till wilted and slightly browned.
  2. Add in the chicken and stir fry for a few minutes or till it starts turning white.
  3. Sprinkle in all the powders and toss them well. Let it cook for five minutes.
  4. Add  in the water and stock cubes and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Add in the salt at this stage and continue to simmer till the chicken is almost done.
  6. Drop in the frozen molokhia into the water and cook on high flame till the molokhia floats in the soup.
  7. Switch off and adjust seasoning.
  8. In a small saucepan, heat oil and fry the garlic till browned - do not burn! Turn it into the soup and close the lid for it to seep in.
  9. Have as is or topped over rice.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    YAY! I am so happy this recipe saw the light sooner than most of your drafts 🙂
    That “fish-like smell” is exactly what put off F from having it. But my molokhia post is till date the most popular post as per Google Analytics. LOL So I think I should make them again just for me. I totally can relate to the happy dance when we already have a dish for a challenge. 🙂 Glad you loved this.. I am like the torch bearer trying to get more people like this dish lol.
    Famidha recently posted…Freekeh | Smoked Green Wheat Chicken SoupMy Profile

    • Rafeeda AR says

      Hehe… thank you for introducing me to it, or else I would have never tried to cook with it… 🙂 I am already planning to make this at least once during Ramadan…

  2. says

    I am not a great fan of leafy stuff which is why I never attempted this recipe – did not wanna try to make something that I wasn’t sure I would eat:) This leaf is totally new to me – I am sure I would have gone hunting for it in fresh leaves section only and never think that it had a frozen variant. Sometimes frozen stuff are a blessing – it gives you a leeway to make it at a later date as well:)

    • Rafeeda AR says

      This is my first try too and I wasn’t really sure if we would like it, but in fact all of us loved it! The fresh leaves are available in Union Co-op but I still went for frozen since it will give me time to use it up, like you said… 🙂 Thanks a lot Ria…

  3. says

    Yay for trying something new and getting good reviews from the family!
    I totally agree with you, garlic is not optional in this recipe. It is so bland without it!
    I too made this recipe so early on in the month and I am really glad I did because things got crazy busy after that!

    • Rafeeda AR says

      Ah, yes… I was first wondering why the garlic but once I tasted the before and after, I really understood… hehe… Thank you so much Sawsan…

  4. says

    Your post is making me crave it .Slimy and fish like smell is what my family doesnt like about molokia…..i love it for the love of fish 😜.

  5. says

    What are the odds that you would have these leaves in your freezer! Never heard of Molokhia but now I am curious. The soups really good and the more garlic always the better 🙂

    • Rafeeda AR says

      I would have never had it ever but since its discovery, I may keep making it once in a while… 🙂 Thank you so much Evelyne…

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