1 April, 2013
While you prepare this delectable dish, the aromas of mloukhieh, coriander and garlic infuse the air, sending your stomach in mad rages! This delicious dish is made with “mloukhieh” leaves and chicken and/or meat (beef or lamb), served with rice and topped with vinegar onions and toasted pita bread. Mloukhieh, the Egyptian national dish, is extremely popular in Lebanon and the lebanese version is different in texture and preparation. Mloukhieh leaves are a type of edible green similar to spinach and in the English language are called Jew’s mallow. This leafy green vegetable has a mucilaginous texture, similar to okra, when cooked. The plant is said to be rich in antioxidants.
Mloukhieh leaves can be found at any Middle Eastern grocer and most likely in frozen or dried form. Although, fresh leaves were used in the following recipe, using frozen or dry is fine as well.
The following recipe is made with chicken.
Prep: 50 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes
Serves: 6 very hungry people
Ingredients for the chicken (1 of 4)
- 1kg of chicken breasts
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- salt and pepper to taste
- cover with water- about 7-8 cups
Ingredients for the Mloukhieh (2 of 4)
- 1kg of Jew’s Mallow leaves (Mloukhieh) fresh, frozen or dried.(Leaves can be chopped or whole).
- 1/2 kg coriander, finely chopped
- 4 large shallots or onions, finely diced
- 12 cloves of crushed fresh garlic
- The juice of 2 lemons
- Salt to taste
- vegetable oil
Ingredients for the Vinegar Dressing and the Crispy Bread (3 of 4)
- 2 white onions, finely diced
- Apple vinegar or wine vinegar – enough to cover the diced onion topping
- salt to taste
- 2 large pita breads, separated.
Ingredients for the Rice (4 of 4)
Use long grain white rice and cook according to instructions on package.
We are going to use the broth from the chicken and add it to the mloukhieh leaves. It’s important that the broth is made in advance and ready for when we start to make the mloukhieh. So, in a deep pot, add chicken and all the spices, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let cook for 40 minutes or till the chicken is well cooked. Separate the chicken into pieces with your hands (do not cut with a knife). Reserve the broth and half the chicken for the topping (preferably big breast chunks).
(While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the ingredients for the mloukhieh. Also, prepare the onion topping (mix all the onion topping ingredients together and reserve) and cook rice according to the package instructions.)
In a deep, thick bottomed pot, add some vegetable oil, about 2-3 tablespoons worth. Once the oil is hot add the diced shallots or onions.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or till soft and translucent.
Add the crushed garlic.
Cook for a minute or so, then add the coriander and stir well.
Strain in the chicken broth. Add salt to taste.
Add the mloukhieh (Jew’s Mallow) leaves.
Stir well and cover. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat and do not let it come to a boil. It’s important not to let it boil, since it can coagulate, making it inedible. Mloukhiyeh has natural thickening agents, so don’t worry if it looks too runny in the beginning. Add half of the chicken pieces and the lemon at the end of the cooking.
While the mloukhieh is cooking, we can make the pita bread crumbs. Toast the pita bread in the oven until crispy and make medium size bread crumbs bites.
Dish out into separate serving bowls the mloukhieh, half of the chicken pieces, the rice, the onion topping and the bread bites.
When serving, on a bed of rice, layer the mloukhieh, the chicken, some bread crumbs and top with the vinegar onions.