Originally an Egyptian dish, now widely found throughout the Middle Eastern as well as Sudan where it is one of the nation’s favourite stews. The stew is made up of the dark green leaves of corchorus olitorius as its main ingredient, also known as jute leaves and Jews’ mallow.
Some Sudanese stews can be prepared from both mullah and tabeekh bases. Jute leaf stew is one of these stews and so as a mullah is commonly served with kisra, while as a tabeekh is commonly served with rice.
As children if we didn’t like the idea of having mulukhiya, maybe because of its dark green colour, we would be reminded that eating mulukhiya made Pop Eye strong. It worked and had truth since the leaf is also known as Egyptian spinach.
- 2L premade mullah base read the recipe
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 3-4 garlic cloves – crushed
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped dill
- 3-4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3-4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3-4 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper – to taste
- 1-2 lamb stock cubes
- 500g jute leaves leaves – rinsed in water and finely chopped
- To the premade mullah base not including its meat, add: sodium bicarbonate, ground coriander, ground cardamom, black pepper and stock cube(s). Taste and balance the flavours.
- Add chopped jute leaves and place on a medium heat for 20-30mins until only just cooked. The leaves are cooked when their texture is soft enough that they tear easily and should be taken off the heat at this stage.
- Lightly hand blend the leaves in the pot. The leaves should not be blended into a smooth non-identifiable paste, instead the leaves should be broken down into very small identifiable leaf pieces.
- Return the meat to the stew and season with salt and crushed garlic. Taste the stew and balance the flavours accordingly.
- Serve with kisra and a slice of lemon or lime.