Molokhia plant which is consumed commonly in North Africa and Middle eastern cuisines, belongs to the okra family. It can be cooked fresh or dried. During the harvest, the taste and texture of molokhia is very similar to spinach. When dried both the taste and smell of the molokhia is superb!
Molokhia is also an ancient superfood. Historically molokhia plant is said to be offered to kings. Moreover it is belived that Cleopatra, the Egyption queen owed her beauty heavily on consuming molokhia on a regular basis. When the health benefits of molokhia is considered, the reason for the interest towards this holy plant can be understood better.
Unfortunately molokhia plant cannot be found in Turkey. The closest geography of molokhia cultivation is in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Indeed, traditionally molokhia meal is cooked in almost all Turkish Cypriot houses every Sunday. Molokhia meal is cooked with chicken or lamb and served together with rice pilaf.
How to Cook Molokhia with Chicken?
In this recipe, we will show you how to cook molokhia meal the way it is cooked traditionally in Northern Cyprus. Molokhia meal can be cooked with lamb or chicken. In this recipe, we will show you how to cook chicken molokhia. Here are the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking this chicken recipe:
- 150 gr. dry molokhia leaves
- Chicken meat (4 big pieces)
- 2 onions
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 lemons
- 2 tbsps of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 5 gloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of salt
How to Cook Chicken Molokhia
1- First of all put the dry molokhia leaves in a big container and add enough hot water to cover. Then set aside for 20 minutes to get soft.
2- During this time, we can prepare the other ingrediets. Small dice the onions and tomatoes and set aside.
3- Chop 5 gloves of garlic and set aside.
4- Squeeze the lemons. During cooking molokhia, we add lemon juice by tasting. When it reaches to our taste preferance, then stop adding lemon. In this recipe, I used two whole lemons, and it was perfect for my taste.
5- Now we are ready to cook our protein which is chicken in this recipe. For that add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat.7
6- When the temperature is enough to fry the meat, add the chicken parts and fry both sides. Remove the fried chicken parts and set aside.
7- Transfer 5 tablespoons of this chicken aroma oil in a big cooking pot and heat.
8- Add the chopped garlic and stir for about 15 seconds.
9- Then add the small diced onions and cook until soft.
10- When the onions are soft enought, add the small diced tomatoes and stir.
11- When the tomatoes are cooked, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
12- Now it’s time to add the molokhia leaves. For this wash and squeeze the molokhia leaves gently with your hands and transfer to another container.
13- Add the washed and squeezed dry molokhia leaves to the cooking pot and add hot water to help the leaves blend with the cooked tomato and onion mixture. Then bring to a boil.
14- Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 lemon’s juice and stir.
15- Add the fried chicken parts, cover the lid and cook over low flame for about 2 hours.
16- After 2 hours of cooking, our chicken molokhia meal is ready to plate. Traditionally molokhia is served near rice pilaf. Enjoy…