Molokhia-The Culinary Viagra

Molokhia or A Jew’s Mallow is a dark green leafy vegetable that dates back to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Banned by the puritan Fatimids for sending women wild with desire, the humble green leaf has had a remarkable story. The name ‘A Jews Mallow’ is derived from a claim that Jewish priests discovered this leaf and introduced it to the ancient culinary world . This viscously dark and bitter leaf did eventually free itself of the restraints of the Moslem Caliph and re launched itself into the hearts and mouths of women and men.

img_0654 img_0659

Even though this is an Egyptian dish, Molokhia is enjoyed through out the Levantine countries, Africa and even in Japan!. Most dishes in the Middle East in fact are shared and therefore diversified in that way.  Now I am not one to enlist the health benefits of this and that vegetable, never the less I was astonished to find out how beneficial this Leaf is. It has Potassuim, Calcuim and Magnisuim, it is also packed with vitamins C, E, and K. This leaf would put spinach to shame. Now the other less boring and more interesting fact is it also increases internal blood flow, which could explain the aphrodisiac effect it had on women and therefore the ban. The question is: do you feel any different when you eat this? 

img_0660 img_0661 img_0658

On another truthful note, I have been cooking this dish it for two years only. My first Molokhia tasted like a sticky note. And it was only through chatting to my mom, sister in law, and a few other women that I managed to enhance the flavours. Two very important things to remember when making this dish is; the stock and the amount of fried garlic and coriander you add. I was also told to place a ripe red tomato in this stew. I guess it rounds off the taste a little. The leaves cook very quickly and there is no need to thaw the frozen minced leaves. You could always buy fresh but I find frozen is alway better as it is picked in season, shock frozen and it tastes wonderful.

img_0663 img_0673

Method

Place the chicken, with the spices and onion in 3 or 4 cups of cold water and bring to a gentle boil. I prefer to boil one side of the bird for 5 minutes, turn and cook on other side for 2 minutes only. Switch off the heat and let everything settle in the stock for 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken and season it with salt, pepper and oil and roast in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest further.  While the chicken is cooking, wash and mince the coriander, crush the garlic and fry in a little half olive oil/half vegetable oil, once you smell the garlic, turn off the heat and leave on the side. Skim off any unwanted fat, spices or chicken bits from the stock and add the frozen Molokhia to it and let it cook with the tomato halved in the pot. Once it reaches a boil add the dried coriander, the vegetable cube  and the fried garlic/coriander mix and season further with salt and black pepper. Let it cook for another 10/15 minutes. Switch off the heat and add the juice of half a lemon. Finally, shred the chicken meat into the Molokhia stew and enjoy. Molokhia is eaten with rice but is equally good dipped in arabic bread with an extra squeeze of lemon juice. Yum

Ingredients

Stock

  •  700 g whole chicken
  • 2/3 cups of cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 10 cardamom pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Molokhia Stew

  • 600 g minced and frozen molokhia (Montana)
  • 1 tsp crushed ground dry coriander
  • 1 tsp vegtable Bouillon
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • a juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup crushed garlic 

img_06661

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Ghassan
    June 13, 2012

    Excellent! Sounds very yummy! šŸ™‚

  2. Leave a Reply

    Heba
    June 14, 2012

    Yummz Lara. Now I know what’s missing in my molokhiyah “tomato” šŸ™‚ nice peek of red .

  3. Leave a Reply

    Abbed Anabtawi
    June 14, 2012

    Things that makes you go Yuummmmmy šŸ™‚

  4. Leave a Reply

    I Live in a Frying Pan
    June 16, 2012

    Such a well-written informative post! Loved the food history. Not a molokhuya fan, but I’ve probably not tasted a well-prepared version. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Leave a Reply

    mohd
    June 20, 2012

    very very interesting lara esp when i knew about the history of molokhieh .i have asked my wife to cook that dish in accordance with your nice seemingly tasty recipe to enjoy the taste and get the vitamins not to mention the aphrodesic effect !!!!!u are thye best in what u write as its really comprehensive in what u write and u do your home work very well.continue with what u do as we all benefit from your writings….

  6. Leave a Reply

    trish
    July 19, 2012

    Hey! You should go on YaDig and write your reviews on the places you’ve eaten at in the UAE. You could win 35,000AED+ in prizes this Ramadan for reviewing businesses on YaDig! Local service companies, spas, gyms, hotels, night clubs, coffee shops and more!! It’s pretty cool you should check it out and let all your friends know too! http://www.yadig.com/competition.aspx

  7. Leave a Reply

    Sandy
    January 4, 2014

    As a westerner I came to this yummy vegetable as an adult, about 10 years ago. We, my husband and I, we’re in a small restaurant in downtown Toronto where no one spoke very good English not even certain of which countries cuisine we were to eat. We asked for food, whatever they thought was good. They brought the most delicious stew for us. When we asked what it was called they said Molokhia. I searched all my recipe books but did not find any references. About a year later I was in a grocery store called Arz and I spotted the frozen Molokhia. Like a type of spinach I thought. I bought it and came home and tried to recreate that delicious stew. I put in coriander fresh and dried, garlic, onions, lamb and lamb stock, cardamom, bay leaves , Molokhia, tomato paste, red pepper and lemon and served it over rice. I hit a home run with my family and this is a regularly prepared dish.

    • Leave a Reply

      Sara
      January 22, 2016

      Hi Sandy,
      Do you remember the name of that restaurant ?

  8. Leave a Reply

    Antijebus
    May 12, 2014

    I acquired the frozen kind and put It In hot soup. I got a slimy mess. This may be better for you than frozen spinach but It tastes of almost nothing and gives the sensation someone has poured a cup of snot into my bowl. As for the viagra effect, lol. No. Sorry. No changes In my libido at all.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>