Chicken Molokhia is an Egyptian chicken soup recipe that is mixed with green jute leaves, chicken meat & broth, lemon juice, cardamom, and lots of garlic. It is served either with pita bread or rice.
When I was a kid, I lived most of my time in Kuwait, and I ate many delicious middle eastern and Egyptian food. Just for your information, there are almost 600,000 Egyptian living in Kuwait, which makes up one of the largest foreign communities in their country.
They share similar cultures to Arab locals, and one thing I learned from them is their food cultures. My Egyptian neighbor invited me once to their house for lunch, and one of the foods I find that I love so much is Molokhia.
What is Molokhia?
Molokhia is an Arabic term made from vegetable green leaves called Jute leaves or Jews Mallow. It is originally from Egypt, which starts to spread to other Middle Eastern and North African countries. To the Egyptian locals, it is considered a national dish along with Koshari Rice.
These jute leaves are found either as dried leaves, fresh leaves, or frozen packs. To me, I prefer dried or fresh leaves since it has a stronger flavor.
Because Egyptian dish is a cook in a form of soup, it is served perfectly with rice. This is also popular in the Levantine region in the Middle East, which they have their version of this dish.
Why recommend this dish?
To me, I recommend you to try Molokhia because not only it is delicious, but is healthy and nutritious. This jute leave soup has many health benefits, which are rich in Vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and other minerals.
Furthermore, this soup is perfect during winter or cold weather. That is because it is a hot soup which is very nutritious, and this can be eaten with or without rice. My friend told me this is good for colds and flu, which makes sense since it is rich in Vitamin C.
Because I love this Egyptian soup dish, I am going to show you the recipe of my Chicken Molokhia Recipe
The ingredient to make a chicken molokhia recipe is actually simple.
Firstly, I am using Chicken meat and Bouillon cubes as my protein dish, which is common in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. I am using meat with bones since we boil the chicken, it will release the broth, which will enhance the flavor of the soup. Also, to make sure the soup has good taste, I use chicken bouillon cubes in this recipe.
Secondly, I am using a homemade prepared Molokhia powder, which is made from minced dried jute leaves. It is more convenient that way since you don't need to store it in the fridge. These green leaves can be found in most Middle Eastern or Arabic grocery stores.
Thirdly, I am using fresh lemon juice, cardamom powder, and garlic. What makes this dish authentic Egyptian is we add a lot of garlic. Also, the lemon will add mild sourness to this dish, which will enhance the flavor of the soup. As a half Arab, we always include lemon when we are drinking soups, which blend well.
How do you make into a Powder?
The molokiya powder I have was already prepared, which was given from my father in Kuwait. In my opinion, this is much easier since you can cook directly in the pot.
To make these leaves into a powder, you can just buy these leaves, and use your hand to manually separate jute leaves from the stem. Next, you put it in plastic and let it be exposed to the sun for up to 2 days. That is because it will dry the leaves, which you can mince into a powder.
And then lastly, you use can use either knife or a food processor to mince it into a powder.
Things to do first before cooking?
Although this is not mandatory, I will recommend that you remove the skin, and clean the chicken with salt and lemon since it can help remove the smell of the meat.
The first thing you should do is boil the chicken for 25 minutes on medium heat. While boiling the meat, I am preparing to sauté the garlic and the leaves.
In a different pan, I fry the garlic with olive oil until it becomes golden brown. And then, I add the molokhia/jute leave powder, lemon juice, and cardamom powder directly to the pan. Make sure you put a little bit of cardamom powder since it can be overwhelming.
Once the chicken is boiled for at least 25 minutes, transfer the cooked molokhia leaves to the pot, and let it simmer for additional 15 to 20 minutes in low heat until the chicken is soft and cooked. Serve it with any Arabic rice or bread and salads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Yes, you can use rabbit or lamb. It works well in this recipe
In this Egyptian Molokhia recipe, the leaves are kept in sunlight for a day. When it's already dry, we remove the stem branches and grind the leaves into a powder. Unlike the Lebanese or Levantine version, the fresh leaves are just cooked directly along with the other ingredients. In another, they are not powdery.
For leftovers, they can last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just make sure you keep in an airtight container.
That is perfectly normal since the jute leaves or jews mallow gives a slimy texture. If you bought a frozen Molokhia from the grocery stores, they are more sticky than the fresh leaves. If you don't want that, I highly recommend you buy the fresh jute leaves that you can dry out from the sun and make into a powder. Since that's what I am using this recipe, I notice my recipe is not too slimy.
Other Middle Eastern Food Recipes
Here are other delicious Egyptian and Arab dishes to try at home:
- 6 cup of water
- 1.5 lbs chicken leg
- 1.5 cup jute leave / jew's mallow / molokhia powder
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of cardamom powder
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Add chicken, and the water to the pot, and let it boil between 20 to 25 minutes in medium heat.
- While it is boiling, prepare a separate frying pan and add olive oil.
- Once the oil is warm enough, add garlic and stir it for few minutes or until it became light brown. DO NOT overcook the garlic.
- Add molokhia/jute leaves/jew's mallow powder into the frying pan. Mix to stir for a minute.
- Add lemon juice and cardamom powder, and stir to combine for another 1 minute, and turn off the fire.
- After the chicken is boiled for 25 minutes, transfer the cooked molokhia powder into the pot. Add the bouillon cubes.
- Let it simmer for additional 15 to 20 minutes in low heat or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 329Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 178mgSodium 1139mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 36g