Egyptian Molokhia is as authentic an Egyptian recipe as you can find. It is traditionally served with plain white rice. Egyptian Molokhia is named after the primary vegetable ingredient of the same name. Molokhia is “Egyptian spinach” and it has a consistency that is a bit slimy, much like okra. The flavor of it varies greatly according to the method of cooking and the stock that used to prepare it. If you can’t find molokhia fresh where you live, don’t worry – the dish can be made just as effectively and as tasty using fresh, frozen, dried or preserved leaves. This recipe calls for rabbit meat – which traditionally was considered the privileged meat of the Pharaohs, and only the wealthy could afford it. But you can also make wonderful Molokhia with beef, duck, or even chicken meat.
Egyptian Molokhia Recipe-
- 2-3 lb. fresh whole rabbit
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 10 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 lemons
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large brown onion, peeled and quartered
- 5 tbsp. organic ghee
- 26 oz. fresh molokhia or the same weight in rehydrated dried packaged molokhia leaves
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
To Prepare the Rabbit-
- Wash the rabbit well; remove kidneys and any remaining inedible parts.
- Rub the meat well with the flour and then rinse again – this is to cleanse and prepare the skin. Cut the rabbit into 5 parts and place the pieces in a large mixing bowl.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, mix together 1 tbsp. of the crushed garlic, the juice of 1 lemon and some salt and pepper to taste. Rub this marinade into the rabbit well, then cover the and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This helps tenderize the meat as well as draw out any fluids and impurities. If you have time, allow it to marinate for up to 2 hours.
To Prepare the Molokhia Stock-
- In a large cooking pot, bring 1 quart of water to a rolling boil. Add in the bay leaves, salt and the onion quarters. Cut off the heat, and set the pot aside.
- In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp. of organic ghee over medium-high flame. Add in the pieces of rabbit and sauté until nicely browned all over.
- Return the cooking pot with the stock in it to the burner and bring back to a boil. Add in the browned rabbit pieces and boil for approximately 25–30 minutes, until the meat is well cooked and very tender. Strain through a colander over a large bowl, remove and set aside the rabbit, and reserve all of the rabbit meat-infused stock.
- In the same frying pan you used to brown the rabbit, add 2 tbsp. ghee, salt, pepper and garlic, and fry rabbit until the newly added ingredients turn the meat a pleasing golden color. Remove the meat pieces and arrange them on an attractive serving platter.
- In a large, deep pot, bring 5 cups of the reserved broth to a boil. Add in the molokhia leaves and reduce the heat to just a lively simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add more broth if the texture is getting too thick.
To Make the Tesha/Garlic Sauce-
- While the molokhia boils, in small saucepan over medium flame, heat 1 tbsp. butter or ghee, the remaining crushed garlic and the coriander, and cook, stirring until fragrant and golden brown. Pour this garlic sauce immediately into the molokhia and stir well to combine.
- Do a taste test and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 2 or 3 minutes with the lid placed slightly ajar.
- Serve your Egyptian Molokhia in a bowl with the rabbit separately on a platter, or combine both in one deep bowl, with the rabbit on the bottom, covered with the stew. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with freshly steamed white rice.
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