Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian

Friday, January 01, 2016

New year is here and I want to start with a healthy recipe. Green leafy veggies are undoubtedly good for health, isn't it?  But with a picky hubby who abhors greens I refrain from looking at other options at the supermarket and just go with methi, coriander, mint and sometimes may be spring onions and spinach. However last time at Hyper Panda (that is the supermarket chain here) I stood at the greens aisle and looked at the name board that had "Molokhia" - I always wanted to try it because the name was interesting so picked a bunch and put it in the plastic bag that F was holding for me. He did not comment anything, but my always justifying mind made me comment "you eat methi leaves, so try having this one too.. " :-)

Back home, I started to research about it and soon was swimming in an ocean of Molokhia recipes that was just different versions of the same dish. But one blog just gained my attention and I bookmarked it. Molokhia is spelled in different ways and is commonly called Jute leaves. It is very prominent in MENA countries. For my Indian readers, I could find the Kannada and Tamil names. Molokhia in Kannada is called as Sanabu, Chinchala Gida, Chunchala Gida or Kinikini Beeja and Molokhia in Tamil is known as Sanal Piratti-Kirai or Naruvalli. I hope this helps you to source this and try it.


Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian

As usual, when I make something for the first time, I prepare it in the morning, so that I have enough time to cook something else for F if it does not turn out good. The advantage is I get to click the pictures in natural light but the disadvantage, he cannot have it as fresh as from the stove. I hate to reheat food unless it is left over. Anyways.. I set to prepare this with some chicken.

The aroma of the chicken boiling in spices just filled the kitchen and once I added the molokhia, it made me hungry instantly. Thankfully it was lunch time so I devoured a bowl shamelessly checking if there is any left for F.  I sent F a picture of it and he replied "it looks yum" - I responded saying it does for real. Poor thing had to wait till evening to get back home to taste it. I reheated the stew.. he tasted it and "Ewwwww, it smells and tastes fishy" He abhors fish and so I got to have them all for myself. "It is official, I do not like any greens" Fiiiiiinnnnnee (rolling my eyes)

Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian

But, I am still going to share this recipe because I loved it  and I am sure my readers and friends will also love it or at least try it. It is simple with very fewer ingredients. Imagine greens floating in chicken broth with some roasted chicken and maybe some cooked rice to make it a meal.

These leaves get slimy like Okras, so do not over cook it. There are tons of different variations on the internet so feel free to look out for more options. I made it the simplest way with whatever I have. It is normally had with pieces of pita bread in the stew. It is rich taste and Heba, the author has named it apt "A meal fit for a King".

Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian

Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian


Yields : 2 servings

INGREDIENTS


1 bunch of fresh molokhia (take only the leaves) chopped roughly

For the broth: 
300 grams of chicken (prefer with bone)
Water enough to cover the chicken pieces
1 medium onion cut into four pieces
2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
Salt to taste

For roasting the boiled chicken (you can roast them on oven too)
1 teaspoon of ghee
Herbs and spices of choice (I used dry basil)

For Garlic Coriander Mixture: 
1 teaspoon of ghee
3 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

For garnishing: 
A cup of cooked rice
a little sumac to sprinkle

METHOD: 


To make the Base Broth: 
  1. Add enough water to cover the chicken and set on high flame
  2. Add onion, bay leaves, cardamom pods, salt and pepper to the boiling chicken
  3. Reduce to medium flame and cook for at least 40 minutes 

Roast the Chicken: 
  1. Add a teaspoon of ghee in a thick bottomed non-stick pan 
  2. Remove the cooked chicken and place it on the pan with medium flame
  3. Sprinkle a dash of dry basil  or any herbs/spices of your choice on the chicken and roast it for 5 to 8 minutes flipping the chicken pieces until golden brown all sides
Make the garlic-coriander mixture: (make this while roasting the chicken)
  1. Mince the garlic cloves (I used my cheese grater)
  2. In a separate pot, melt 1 teaspoon of ghee and add the crushed garlic.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of coriander powder and a few drops of lemon juice to the garlic.
  4. Sauté the mixture for 2 minutes or until a little browned
Combine all: 
  1. Add all of the freshly made chicken broth to the garlic-coriander mixture.
  2. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Drop the minced leaves into the broth and stir.
  4. Boil only for about 5 minutes until the molokhia leaves are wilted 
Garnish and serve HOT:
  1. In a wide bowl, pour a ladle or two of the stew
  2. Spread some cooked rice in the center
  3. Drop in the roasted chicken pieces (Update: I had shredded them before adding to eat easily!)
  4. sprinkle some sumac (optional)
  5. Relish 
Molokhia | Jew's Mallow Chicken Stew | Egyptian

To read more about Molokhia and the author, please visit MidEats

Before wrapping here is wishing you all a wonderful and a healthy year ahead, InShaAllah!

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