Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mloukhiyeh (Jews Mallow) ملوخية

Mloukhiyeh is a dish ALL Arabs love, i grew up eating just the juice of the dish with a squirt of lemon juice on my rice because i just didn't want to try it...or maybe i just matured...i mean if my picky two year old eats it why wouldn't i like it. growing up i always thought mloukhiyeh was Arabic spinach (yes Arabs do eat spinach...i don't know why i thought that) but mloukhiyeh is actually a plant called Jews Mallow. To prepare mloukhiyeh for cooking you first have to pick all the leaves off, wash them well and then dry then for about 2 days (unless you have alot of sun in which they will dry really fast) and after they are almost dry all the way we lightly fry it and keep it in the freezer. The different Arab countries make it differently, Syrians like it dry (meaning no extra sauce) Egyptians eat it like a soup (and with rabbit). In this posting i made mloukhiyeh with chicken but it can also be made with meat, same steps just different protein.

First we boil the chicken, you know the routine onion, cinnamon stick, cardamon, bay leafs and salt.
This is what the chicken should look like, taste the broth and make sure it has the correct amount of salt because i don't add salt to the mloukhiyeh itself.
In a saucepan cook up sliced garlic (about 1 whole clove) in either butter samneh or oil (i use a mix of butter ad samneh) You don't want the garlic to turn brown, you just want it to become more white and to release some flavor.
Next add the mloukhiyeh from the freezer (because it is dry it is not rock hard frozen)
Fry the mloukhiyeh until all the leaves are coated in the butter. Be careful not to leave it for too long because it will burn.
Slowly add the chicken broth one ladle at a time. When the broth is absorbed add some more. This is where it is up to your taste. Syrians like their mloukhiyeh with no extra juice or broth however i like just a little because i need moisture in my dish (my husband likes it with no extra broth) So it is up to you how much broth you add but add it slowly because at a certain point it will just stop absorbing the broth.
Normally you would add 1 whole bunch of chopped cilantro right at the end and let it cook for about 1 or 2 minutes but i didn't have FRESH cilantro i had frozen. It tasted good but naturally fresh cilantro gives it a much nicer taste.
Seriously people this is his favorite dish
Serve the mloukhiyeh with the chicken on top. Some people like to put the chicken in with the mloukhiyeh but ti changes the color of the chicken to green and doesn't look as nice, that is up to you (tastes good but doesn't look so hot)
Serve with vermicelli (shariyeh) rice and lemon to be squeezed over the mloukhiyeh.

Written Recipe:

1 whole chicken boiled (onion, cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaf and salt)
1 whole clove of garlic sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of samneh
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of dried frozen mloukhiyeh (this amount doesn't matter because the chicken broth is not a specific measurement)

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