How badly I wanted to love this. Made with molokhia, a vegetable consumed in ancient Egypt, referred to in the book of Job, and eaten throughout the Middle East and North Africa, I was sure I would love this and come out feeling like the cultured and sophisticated woman I would like to be. It's ridiculously good for you: loaded with minerals and antioxidants. Unfortunately, I did not like Jute Leaf Stew (Mulukhiyah). I've tried lots of Palestinian recipes and felt ready for something adventurous, but I couldn't make myself want to eat this. No one else could either. It's also referred to as Egyptian spinach, but don't let that fool you. It is called Jew's mallow, jute leaf, Molokhia, mulukhiyah, and moloha. There are even more variations, but it would take too long to list them all.
I don't want to imply that this is bad food, but it was mucilaginous beyond my imagination, coated with a layer of oil at the top, slightly sweet and looked like it was poured directly from a swamp. It was also supposed to be extremely spicy, but I had to leave out all the chillies or my children would never have tried it- not that they did. I guess the spice would have offset the sweetness. It was a lose-lose for us.
The broth was interesting. I believe the mastic gave it a very sweet flavor.
The broth was seasoned with bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, rosemary, cardamom and mastic pebbles pulverized with salt. It reminded me of my first taste of Vietnamese food- I couldn't tell for a while whether I loved it or hated it. I think this might have been a huge win if it hadn't been paired with a vegetable so reminiscent of aloe vera.
What was very good, however, was the tiqla: 10 cloves of garlic mashed with salt, fried, and doused in coriander. The smell was amazing, and at some point in the future I plan on dousing something I like in it.
If after all this you feel that you MUST try molokhia (maybe you are a fan of Egyptian food or the book of Job), try Pinterest. There were lots of recipes there. I won't bother giving you this recipe since, obviously, I didn't like it and I won't use it again. It was taken from The Gaza Kitchen. Let's hope for better luck next time.
Maybe I'll give it a year and try again.
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!