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reddevil

Green Jew's Mallow or Molokhiya

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I have often wondered what the translation of 'molokhia' (a dish mentioned a few times in this forum) would be in English. And then I found out on a trip to my favourite restaurant in Cairo, called Felfela (on Huda Sha'arawy Street). Apparently molkhia in English is Green Jew's Mallow. Now, I have no idea whether this is correct or not - I have a feeling that "Jew's" is meant to be "juice". But it's a start anyway!

Back to Felfela - if you happen to be in Cairo be sure to eat there. It is an Egyptian retaurant with an excellent variety of dishes. Their speciality is grilled meat and falafel. Their desserts are good too - Om Ali and Mahalabia my two favourites.

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According to this link (first on the Google "hit parade"!) :

Molokhia (Melokiyah, etc.) is a traditional dish in Egypt and Sudan -- some people believe it originated among Egyptians during the time of the Pharaohs. Others believe that it was first prepared by ancient Jews. Molokhia is a mucilaginous, nutritious soup made from a type of greens, known as molokhia or Jew's mallow (also called Nalta jute, Tussa jute, Corchorus olitorius), which is found throughout Egypt, the Levant, and similar climes elsewhere.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Molokhia is a mucilaginous, nutritious soup
Chop the molokhia leaves as finely as possible. This should leave them bright green and slightly slimey.
Molokhia is prized for its mucilaginous quality

Well, you can't say "mucilaginous" without saying "mmmmm", I guess...

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Molokhia is a mucilaginous, nutritious soup
Chop the molokhia leaves as finely as possible. This should leave them bright green and slightly slimey.
Molokhia is prized for its mucilaginous quality

Well, you can't say "mucilaginous" without saying "mmmmm", I guess...

What we consider "slimey" . . .

Subsaharan and North African stews are famous for that "draw" that makes them easy to scoop out without utensils (see other thread on East/Central African food).

Appreciation for slimey stews is not unheard of in the West, e.g. gumbo (a west African word for okra), callaloo.

IMHO a slimey stew is superior to a pasty one thickened with flour.


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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Subsaharan and North African stews are famous for that "draw"

Is that what the word "draw" means in a soup/stew context? I have seen it in a couple of old cookbooks and couldn't figure it out.

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I got to eat mallow not long ago, and it has that same "mucilaginous" quality that melokhia does.

Am I a race traitor if I say I like it? Especially cooked and then chilled, on a hot day?

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Melokhia leaves and jews mallow are the same thing are they not? Anyway they are all part of the same family (Malvaceae = Mallow family), which also includes okra, hollyhocks and hibiscus, which explains the shared slimely characteristics of mallow and okra.

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It's Jew's Mallow, since it was used for a chicken dish by the Jews of Alexandria since ancient times. Still popular in Egypt.

Hard to grow elsewhere, but sometimes available dried, or better, frozen

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Sorry I helpfully confused the issue...

I meant to say, that I had some mallow, and, surprise surprise, it was mucilaginous, just like jews' mallow = melokhia, it's namesake.

I'm surprised it's hard to grow where you are...it seems to grow very easily in Japan, though the bugs are rather fond of it.

It does seem to have affinity with chicken, doesn't it? I like to make melokhia/chicken soup, but wish I could try an authentic one!

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I have purchased it frozen at several different middle eastern markets in the Chicago area. The quality is good and it is very cheap. I don't think that the lack of fresh Jew's Mallow is just about the ability to cultivate it locally - parts of Illinois, for example, are quite hot and barren ... there is a Cairo, Illinois for a reason - but the lack of demand. If consumers can get quality mallow frozen for dirt cheap and the demand is low, who's going to bother to grow it?

For those desiring authentic recipes, there's an Algerian version (I believe) in Clifford Wright's Mediterranean Vegetables (along with a lot more information on mallow cultivation, history, etc) and an Egyptian version in Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

I've got a couple packages of mallow in my freezer ... think I might whip up a stew tonight ...

rien

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Based on this thread, I have a few pots growing in my greenhouse.

Seems to grow like a weed, but is very thirsty. I bought the seed on the web.

Its about a foot high with leaves a inch or two long.

Apparently Jute is in the same family.

When should I pick it?

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If it's the same type as the one I'm used to in Lebanon then the plants should be about 2 - 2.5 feet tall and the leaves about 2 inches long, then it'sready to be picked.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I made the melokhia and chicken dish a litttle while back, it is wonderful! Luckily I can find it quite cheaply in the fresh form here in Japan.

my dish: :biggrin:

i1492.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Jew's mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.) is not technically a malllow because it does not belong to the Malvaceae as do mallow and okra but rather the Tiliaceae. But since it is mucilaginous just as mallow and okra there is no problem throwing it into the same culinary category. In Arabic, Jew's mallow is called mulukhiyya, but you will see many transliterations such as melokhia. It is known as Jew's mallow because in ancient and medieval times there was a great affinity for green vegetables on the part of the Jewsih population which derived in part from a Talmudic tradition and this was recognized by the greater population which often characterized mallow and Jew's mallow as Jewish vegetables.

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Jew's mallow (Corchorus olitorius L.) is not technically a malllow because it does not belong to the Malvaceae as do mallow and okra but rather the Tiliaceae.

My understanding is that the traditional plant familys Malvaceae, Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae are now classified as the family Malvaceae and that the Corchorus (jutes) are a genus within this? Damn botanists.

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Balsam? I thought they were Jews's Mallow.

No, I've not tried them yet. They are still only about a foot high.

Want any?


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Not unless global warming continues.

They need it continuously hot, apparently, and do not tolerate cool conditions, so are hard to grow in California where the nights can bee quite cool. I'm growing them in a greenhouse with tomatos, and they seem to be OK.

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Jack, these look great. They should be ready to harvest soon. How much of it do you have? Do you know how to proceed after harvesting?

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Bugger. Has just ccured to me that the chaps at the Middle Eastern stores proberly sell it as they have great supplies of other imported fruit and veg.

I have a can of it in my pantry, pressed on me "to try" by Habibbulah at the middle eastern market at which I shop at least once a week.

Since I don't turn down free anything, I took it but have yet to try it. Habib tried to explain a recipe to me but we were not communicating on the same level. He promised to have his wife write a recipe out for me. I think it is sort of a soup or stew with potatoes.

Now that I know the alternate name I will look up a recipe in one of my books.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Jack, these look great. They should be ready to harvest soon. How much of it do you have? Do you know how to proceed after harvesting?

Elie

I have four pots like these two, plus some I transplanted into 2 or 3 plants to the pot. I was worried they were overcrowded, but they seem OK.

I haven't a clue how to proceed, but have looked at some recipes, and in particular the one in Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food.

I guess stip the leaves and shred them.

Make a chicken stew, flavoured with cardomon, and bay, and add the shredded leaves just before serving, simmering for 3-5 minutes.Finish with coriander and lots of garlic stirred in hot oil (taqliya)

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Jack, these look great. They should be ready to harvest soon. How much of it do you have? Do you know how to proceed after harvesting?

Elie

I have four pots like these two, plus some I transplanted into 2 or 3 plants to the pot. I was worried they were overcrowded, but they seem OK.

I haven't a clue how to proceed, but have looked at some recipes, and in particular the one in Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food.

I guess stip the leaves and shred them.

Make a chicken stew, flavoured with cardomon, and bay, and add the shredded leaves just before serving, simmering for 3-5 minutes.Finish with coriander and lots of garlic stirred in hot oil (taqliya)

That's pretty much it, that is how it is cooked. However my mom always dries the shredded leaves in the sun first and stores them in the pantry. This I believe makes for a much less "mucousy" dish. Try it both ways.

To serve lay some toasted pita pieces in the bottom of a deep dish, top with spiced rice, then the juicy mulukhiya, shredded chicken and the final touch consists of a sprinkling of raw onions that have been steeped in vinegar or lemon juice. Ah, a roya meal indeed.

enjoy

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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