Stir-Fried Molokhia


So what’s in a leaf? Well, technically, we all know that leafy greens are good for us, and we end up grooming them up for salads, stews, and stir fries. But how exactly is this particular leafy green beneficial?

But first, let’s identify this leaf.

In the Middle East, it is known as “Molokhia” or “Mloukhieh”, which translates from the ancient Egyptian term meaning “kingly” (you guessed it, pharoahs must’ve loved pigging out on this good stuff). However, in English it is known as Jew’s Mallow, Jute Mallow, Egyptian Spinach, bush okra, or Syrian greens. There are many ways of preparing molokhia dishes, but this is method is quite uncommon. What differentiates this dish from other molokhia dishes is that it is stir-fried rather than cooked in broth or as a soup.

Now what I like about stir-fried molokhia (not that I don’t like the other soupy molokhias–I love molokhia however it is cooked) is that it takes less time to cook; you don’t really have to wait for an hour until the broth reaches the perfect viscosity. And molokhia has that particular taste and texture that sort of separates it from other members in the leafy green family–it almost seems like it contains its own tasty juice, which only amplifies in flavor and aroma upon cooking!

Molokhia is also mentioned in the Bible, where it is referred to as “Jew’s Mallow”: “Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow?”

Now back to the benefits of molokhia. Compared with spinach and broccoli, molokhia stands out from its green contestants. First of all, it’s a chock full of calcium and iron. Its calcium content is 9 times more than that of spinach and 10 times more than that of broccoli.It is also the leaf that has the highest amount of carotene, as it contains 4.6 times more than spinach and 19 times more than broccoli. It also contains more vitamins B1 and B2–in fact, 5 times more than their content in spinach. Molokhia leaves also contain the highest amount of Vitamin E, C, potassium, and iron. And because of its high fat-soluble vitamin content, it is best to eat any molokhia dish with some high quality fats (the oil in stir-fried molokhia facilitates the absorption of the vitamins).

Molokhia also acts as a demulcent, as it is greatly soothing for an upset stomach. It is also a diuretic, and helps in getting rid of excess water retention. Molokhia is also a good febrifuge, helping with the reduction of fever. Moreover, it is a tonic, and like other leafy greens, it contains cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.

What you need for this super-simple dish is the following:

3 tbsp oil (canola or olive)

2 diced onions

2 small tomatoes, chopped

2 galic cloves, crushed

4 cups fresh molokhia (either chopped or whole-leaf)

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp allspice

1/4 cup water or veggie broth (add more if necessary)

chili flakes (optional)


1. Saute the onions until translucent.

2. Add in the tomato chops, garlic, leaves, and spices. Stir fry for around 15 minutes, adding in water when necessary. Like okra, the molokhia is a bit viscous, and you’ll notice that it creates a “sticky” (for lack of the better term) broth. Yum!

Eat it hot, with some pita bread or rice. It’s great as both a side dish and a main course!

Enjoy! 🙂


Categories: Recipes, Vegan

2 Comments on “Stir-Fried Molokhia”

  1. aspoonfulofnature
    March 11, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    looks delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 13, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

      Thank you aspoonfullofnature! Please let me know if you make it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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