One of the dishes that is ALWAYS on our dinner table when we visit Egypt is mulukhiyah with roz. We're not talking about the frozen version. We're talking about the fresh version that's made from fresh mulukhiyah plant leaves.
Ok, I'll be honest. It's really hard to find fresh mulukhiyah in the U.S., and that's why it's difficult to make mulukhiyah with roz from scratch. You can find frozen minced mulukhiyah in most Middle Eastern grocery stores, which is what I've gotten in the habit of doing. Until now that we live in Abu Dhabi- molokhia is everywhere!
I previously made a post on how to make Egyptian molokhia with roasted chicken, and it goes into detail about making molokhia with roasted chicken using frozen molokhia.
This post goes into detail on how to make mulukhiyah with roz from fresh molokhia leaves using a food processor. Also, I've taken a shortcut with the rice by making it with my Instant Pot.
What is Mulukhiyah in English?
Mulukhiyah is also known as jute in English. It's served as a thick soup with rice (called "roz" in Arabic) and it's usually served with chicken or rabbit. Mulukhiyah with roz is a very common dish prepared at home across several different Arab countries. The Lebanese make molokhia slightly different from the Egyptians, as well as Palestinians.
You will see mulukhiyah spelled a lot of different ways around the web (and maybe this site as well), but it all means the same. Mulukhiyah, molokhia, mulukhia, mulukhiya, jute, and jew's mallow are all different words describing the same thing.
What I Love About This Recipe
Fresh mulukhiyah with roz is quite the experience the first time making. Mulukhiyah is slimy and green, definitely not the most beautiful of dishes. However, it's absolutely delicious and a favorite dish amongst kids. This is one of my daughter's favorite recipes.
Chicken broth ingredients: I make my chicken broth fresh using a whole chicken, onion, cardamom pods, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. My second-best option is using frozen chicken broth (that I made from a previous meal).
Mulukhiyah with roz ingredients: After the homemade chicken broth is made, and the mulukhiyah is minced, mulukhiyah with roz is easy to whip up. Below is what's needed: minced mulukhiyah, chicken broth, minced garlic, butter (or oil), and ground coriander.
How To Make Mulukhiyah With Roz
Mulukhiyah with roz takes a few steps to make because the best mulukhiyah uses a homemade chicken broth from scratch.
Make The Chicken Broth
Add the onions, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse on high until the onions are blended.
Marinate the chicken with the pulsed onions by stuffing the onions inside in between the skin and the meat. Add the water to the stovetop pot.
Bring the chicken to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium heat, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for about 1 hour. Reduce the stovetop heat to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes (continue to keep covered).
Prepare the Fresh Mulukhiyah Leaves
Remove the leaves from the mulukhiyah plant. Add the leaves to a bowl. After all the leaves have been removed, wash the leaves several times until the water runs clear. Strain. Add the leaves to the food processor.
Pulse the food processor until the mulukhiyah is minced. Once the chicken broth is done cooking, remove it from the stovetop.
Prepare The Mulukhiyah
In a nonstick stovetop pot, add the butter (or olive oil) on high heat. Add in the minced garlic. Once the minced garlic caramelizes, add the ground coriander.
Add the chicken broth and minced fresh mulukhiyah to the same pot on high heat. Bring to a boil.
Hint: The mulukhiyah will change colors as it cooks.
Continue to stir until there are no clumps and the soup is smooth. Serve with rice and a side of lime.
Tips and Tricks
- Homemade chicken broth: If you need to save some time, you can use pre-made chicken broth from a box however it will not taste as good as making it from scratch. Also, you can substitute frozen chicken broth for fresh chicken broth if you have some on hand. The broth is the foundation of this recipe, so good broth equals good molokhia.
- Mince the mulukhiyah in a food processor: Traditionally, fresh mulukhiya is minced using a rocking knife. It takes more time than using a food processor. I do not recommend using a blender.
- Cook the rice using a rice cooker, Instant Pot, or stovetop pot while the chicken broth is getting made. I don't know if it's a family curse, but I always struggle with making rice that doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Most of the time I'm cooking other things, so I will forget to check on it or not turn it down fast enough. Problem solved if using a rice cooker. I have the Instant Pot and it has a rice cook function. It's kind of nice to just set it and forget it. I highly recommend trying it if you have one!
Substitutions and Variations
- There are different ways of making molokhia. In Lebanon, molokhia is made from whole molokhia leaves and served with toasted bread and vinger. This recipe is an Egyptian style recipe, and it fries the garlic in the same pan as the molokhia.
- Roast the chicken (after it's made the broth) with a little bit of salt, tomato paste, and some lime. The chicken will be very tender and might fall apart, so another option is to shred the chicken.
Mulukhiya is not spinach, however, it is called Egyptian spinach or Jew's mallow.
Mulukhiya is a mix between Swiss chard and spinach with the slimy feel of okra. When making it into a soup, its flavor can change drastically based on the other ingredients you add to it.
Molokhia is mucilaginous having a viscous and gelatinous property. It's similar to the slimy feeling many people have when eating okra.