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Egyptian Mulukhiya (with Chicken and Jute)

Mulukhiya is a plant used in Middle Eastern cuisine, most often in Egypt, called jute in english. It has a pleasant bitter taste and when cooked exudes a certaini viscosity which helps thicken the liquid it is immersed in. Somewhat difficult to find outside of the middle east but if you do come across it in a famer's market or a veg box do give this recipe a try!

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Ingredients:

4 ½ pounds fresh mulukhiya, or 2 packets (1 lb each) frozen
1 onion, cut in half
1 bay leaf
4-5 cardamom seeds
2 chickens, 2 lbs each
15-20 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
cooking oil
salt

Procedure:

  • Peel the onion and cut in half
  • If using fresh mulukhiya, clean by removing the central spine, chop and cover until needed.

 
1. Boil water with onion, salt, bay leaf, and cardamom tied in muslin bag, then add chicken and cook until tender. Remove chicken, cut into neat joints, and fry.

2. Discard muslin bag and mash onion. Boil soup, add mulukhiya, adjust seasoning, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook, as mulukhiya has to be suspended; over-cooking the mulukhiya makes leaves fall to the bottom of the pot.

3. Mix crushed garlic with salt and coriander. Fry this mixture (know as ta’liya) until golden, then toss into the boiling mulukhiya. Simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add lemon juice (optional).

 

Tips

If using frozen mulukhiya, slide the mulukhiya into the boiling pot, stir until completely thawed, then proceed as with the fresh.
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