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 Molokhia "The green stuff"

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Misr_is_Love
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PostSubject: Molokhia "The green stuff"   Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:16 pm

One of the greatest of experiences we have been through, since my husband and I have returned from Egypt, is attempting to replicate the delicious Egyptian meals that were so easily created amidst the country’s own array of ingredients. Trying to bring such a true Egyptian style to the food, while still using ingredients found within the United States, has been a real challenge, but it has definitely been worth it. Our latest concoction is molokhia, one of the most Egyptian meals of all food served in Egypt. So, in celebration of the success, I have decided that it would only be appropriate to share such a recipe with all of you.



Ingredients that you will need:

- Half a chicken on the bones (to use a whole chicken, double the recipe)
- 2 tsp. chicken bouillon
- 1 whole yellow onion, cut into fourths
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tbsp. coriander
- 3 tbsp. tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 ½ cups molokhia
- Salt to taste

A few notes:

Molokhia is an Egyptian plant, similar to spinach. The leaves are chopped into fine pieces, and shipped to the United States in either a dried or frozen form. I personally prefer to use the dried leaves, and to chop them myself, but frozen will work just as well. Just remember that frozen molokhia contains water, and will therefore make the soup thinner. Molokhia can be obtained from Arabic or international food stores in the US.

Also, if you are preparing the meal in the halal form, whole chickens and chicken bouillon can also be obtained from Arabic or international food stores. We use Tyson chicken (which we have confirmed with the Tyson company is killed in the accepted forms and has been labeled halal by the US Islamic Society) and Knorr or Maggi chicken bouillon, although I do not care for Maggi, as it leaves a film on the roof of my mouth.

Let’s get started!

First, place the chicken in a pot, and fill the pot with water, about three inches higher than the level of your chicken. Mash the chicken bouillon and empty into the pot, along with the yellow onion. You may add a dash of pepper here if desired, and 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil here is also optional (I find that cooking boiled chicken with corn oil brings out the flavor in the broth). Bring the chicken to a boil, cover, and let sit on medium heat for roughly one hour. In that time, that water should boil down to the level of the chicken, leaving a good amount of broth in the pot.

While the chicken is cooking, you may prepare for the rest of the meal. If you are choosing to use dried molokhia, now would be the time to chop it up. The molokhia should be in very small pieces, almost to a powder form, but not. If you are using frozen molokhia, this step will have already been done for you.

If after one hour the tenderness of the chicken is not to your liking, simply continue to cook the chicken, adding ½ cup of water if necessary, to maintain the correct amount of broth (again, that just means enough broth to reach the top of where the chicken is sitting in the pot).
When the chicken is finished, remove the chicken and the pieces of onion from the broth, and set aside. Pour the molokhia into the broth, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, setting aside after the 3-4 minutes is up. Make sure that you do not cover the pot anymore from this point on, as you would not want it to boil over.

Meanwhile, put the cumin, tomato sauce, vegetable oil, coriander, and minced garlic cloves in a pan and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure that you don’t do it too long, or the flavor will turn sour. Also, the garlic can turn brown fairly quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on it for the whole 30 seconds to a minute to avoid overcooking it.

Next, put the sautéed mixture and the chicken back into the pot with the molokhia, leaving the onions out (you can snack on these until the molokhia is finished, as they won’t be used for anything else). Let simmer for roughly 6-8 minutes, or until the molokhia reaches the desired texture. We prefer for the molokhia to be more like a soup than a sauce, so it’s important to maintain a perfect balance of water in the mixture at all times. Of course, the more water that you have to add, the more flavor you will lose, so try not to walk off and leave your molokhia cooking, as it is well worth the wait. Wink

Finally, remove the molokhia from the heat, and serve over white rice.

While molokhia is definitely an acquired taste, it is something that you will probably never find in a can in Wal-Mart! It has a slightly slimy texture, one reason that I like it to be as soupy as possible, and also has the potential to smell like a freshly cut lawn if inhaling while swallowing. But, it’s unique and it’s fun and if you’re anything like I was during the time when my husband and I were separated by so many miles of ocean, it’s a neat way to connect with your Egyptian half! So, eat up!



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YallaBina
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PostSubject: Re: Molokhia "The green stuff"   Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:00 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I got to see my mama make this 2 days ago...Peter says he eats it with bread...his brother, on the other hand, doesn't like it at all. BUT, I'm excited to try it! Smile
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Misr_is_Love
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PostSubject: Re: Molokhia "The green stuff"   Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:16 pm

lol, I don't blame Peter's brother. It's an aquired taste, I've decided. I'm really big on texture, so slimy doesn't sit well with me. Razz

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