Molokhia

5 from 172 votes

This is an authentic Lebanese recipe for how to make Molokhia - which is a jews mallow (jute leaves) hearty healthy stew served over rice!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Molokhia is one of those classic Lebanese recipes that I grew up eating and learned how to make from my mom. It’s a jews mallow stew made with shredded pieces of tender chicken cooked in a lemony broth and served over Lebanese rice.

Large bowl of molokhia topped with shredded chicken, tomatoes and lemon slices and served over rice

What is molokhia?

Also known as jews mallows or jute leaves, molokhia is basically a leafy green vegetable similar to spinach or kale. It can be hard to find fresh, so I generally purchase it dried from Middle Eastern stores. After washing, you can cook it with a lemony chicken broth to make a delicious hearty stew.

How to make Lebanese Molokhia

  • Start by cleaning the molokhia leaves. They often have large thick stems or yellow or dark leaves that should be discarded. Do your best to pick out what you can.
  • Then rinse it well a few times while running your hands through it. Make sure to squeeze out the liquid until the water runs clear. This step also takes about 15-20 minutes minutes. But then you’re ready to cook it all together.
Mlukhiyeh leaves (jews mallow) dried and then soaked
  1. Make the chicken broth by cooking together chicken breast and thighs with onions, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and water. You can skip this step if you already have cooked chicken and broth. Strain the chicken broth and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, cook the cilantro and garlic with olive until it’s fragrant. You can also cook the onions at this time.
  3. Add the washed molokhia along with the spices and sautee until well combine.
  4. Add the chicken broth on top of the sauteed molokhia and cook covered. This is a good time to roast some onions in the oven which enhances the flavor of the final dish!
  5. When the chicken broth thickens and the molokhia softens, add roasted onions, shredded chicken and lemon juice or lemon slices.
  6. Allow everything to simmer together so the flavors set, and then serve.
6 images collage for how to make the recipe all in one pot

Tips for making molokhia

  1. Pick any large stems off the molokhia. This is a tedious step but will result in softer leaves with more flavor.
  2. Take the time to wash the molokhia properly until the water runs clear. This not only removes excess dirt from the dried leaves, but also improves the common slimy texture that molokhia has.
  3. Fry the onions with the cilantro and garlic instead of roasting. This is another option which is very popular and allows everything to happen in one pot. However, roasting the onions is something I learned from my mom, and it adds so much extra flavor!
  4. Adjust the liquid to your taste. I start with 8 cups of water to boil with the chicken, which usually yields a little less. You can start with more water to yield more chicken broth or just add more water during the cooking process.
Large pot of molokhia when it's done cooking

Frequently asked questions

Where do I find the jute leaves to use for this recipe?

You can use fresh, dried or frozen jute leaves for this recipe. I have only found them at Middle Eastern stores. I prefer to use the dried leaves which come in 7-8 ounce cardboard boxes.

How do I make this recipe with the frozen molokhia?

You can skip the cleaning step and add the frozen molokhia to the sauteed cilantro and garlic. There’s no need to thaw the molokhia first; just allow it to cook in the pot and then add the chicken broth.

How can you make the molokhia less slimy?

Washing and rinsing the molokhia helps to alleviate the slime, which is similar to the texture of cooked okra. Placing whole lemon slices in the pot also cuts through some of that slime, so I highly recommend it.

What do you serve molokhia with?

You can actually have this on its own like a soup, but it’s most commonly enjoyed over Lebanese Rice or any other type of rice. For a low carb option, try it with quinoa or cauliflower rice.

Bowl of mlukhiyeh served over Lebanese rice

More Lebanese Stews

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Lebanese Molokhia recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Molokhia (Mloukhieh)

This is an authentic Lebanese recipe for how to make Molokhia – which is a jews mallow (jute leaves) hearty healthy stew served over rice!
5 from 172 votes
Servings 12 servings
Course Entree, Main Course
Calories 190
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins

Ingredients
  

For the chicken

For the molokhia

  • 3-4 ounces dried molokhia
  • 3 medium onions cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon 7 Spice
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ lemon sliced

Instructions

  • Bring 8 cups of water to boil, add the chicken along with the bay leaves, salt and onion. Cook for 20 minutes until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. Sift the chicken broth and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F, place the onions on a baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on top of the onions. Roast in the oven until browned, about 30 minutes.
  • Pick through molokhia to remove any stems or debris. Soak for 15 minutes and rinse a few times. Squeeze out any liquid and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pot used to make the chicken broth. Add the cilantro and garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
  • Add the molokhia to the mixture along with the 7 Spice, coriander, salt and pepper, and saute until the molokhia softens and becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken broth on top of the molokhia and cook on medium heat covered for 30 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to simmer, add the roasted onions, shredded chicken, lemon juice and lemon slices, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve warm over Lebanese rice, if desired.

Notes

Storage: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and they will keep for around 4 days. You can also freeze the stew and it will keep for up to 3 months.
Sourcing: You can find the jute leaves either dried or frozen at Middle Eastern markets.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of 7 Spice, you can substitute any mix of paprika, cumin, coriander, ground cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon
  • To make it vegan, just leave the chicken out. You can add other vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant or zucchini.
* Please note the nutrition label does not include the rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 455mg, Potassium: 252mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1041IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Share this recipe

Share it with the world! Mention @feelgoodfoodie or tag #feelgoodfoodie!

Large bowl of molokhia topped with shredded chicken, tomatoes and lemon slices and served over rice

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Hello there, your recipe sounds soo delicious. I wonder how much of molokhia I would have to take if it was fresh. I live in Greece and we only have fresh molokhia in the summer. I, definitely, would like to try your recipe. I would be very happy about your answer.

    1. Thank you so much! Can you share what you mean by fresh? This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for around 4 days.

  2. Hi Yumna,
    I like the way you explain
    your recipes giving all the details to make them very easy to do yet very delicious too…
    I tried to bake the onions for the mloukhieh to give it a better taste but they turned out dry … how will I bake them to make them more tender and easier to mash.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you so much! It helps if you drizzle olive oil on top of the onions while they’re roasting!

    2. Hello Yuman, by fresh I mean fresh, as the word says. Dried is not fresh and frozen is not fresh, it is frozen. Fresh are vegetables, when they are freshly picked or collected from the field. Here in Greece, people sell freshly collected molokhia on the farmer’s market.
      But my question was not how to keep them fresh but how much of freshly picked
      molokhia do I have to use to cook your recipe, since your recipe tells only about dried ones. How much of freshly picked molokhia would I need to cook your recipe. 1 kilo or 800 gramms maybe?

      1. Thank you for clarifying! I’ve never made it with fresh leaves actually because they are harder to find and can be more tedious to work with. I think you can work with about 1 to 1.5 pounds of fresh leaves for this recipe. Let me know if that ends up working for you so I can share with my other readers. Thank you!

  3. Hi,

    I was just wondering what spice you use in this dish. 😊 I can’t wait to try and make this its one of my favourite my mother in law cooks.

    1. All the spices I used are listed on the recipe card at the bottom of the page. Hope you enjoy!!

  4. A tip from a fellow chef, to completely remove slime from the mloukiyeh, once the water is squeezed out of it after washing, fry the mloukiyeh with lemon juice and a teaspoon of oil in handful batches until each batch runs dry. Place each batch in a bowl until all the mloukiyeh is finished and continue the recipe.

  5. This recipe has a horrible reputation for being very difficult. Thank you so much for making it super simple to follow and absolutely delicious. I’ve been wanting to make it since you posted it and I finally stopped being a chicken and made it!! It’s amazing!! Thank you so much!

  6. I do not call what you presented to us as moulkia, more like a stew!
    Moulokia is an elegant dish as my Lebanese mother and my friend Ninette makes it!

  7. Married to a jordanian, molokhiya was never something I liked and maybe the only Middle-Eastern dish I promised myself never try to cook. However, seeing your post on Instagram made me curious and I thought I would give it a try today… I absolutely loved it! I’ve made a fraction of the quantities (we are only 2) for about 400g of frozen molokhiya but kept the same measure of lemon (as I like the taste it gives to the dish). Delicious recipe, very easy to follow and to do for a first time. You’ve made me change my mind about this dish I’ve tried so many times but never liked… thank you!

    1. Hi Hassina! Wow, I’m so glad I changed your mind to try the recipe and that it was worth your time and effort! I’m so happy you enjoyed it and thanks so much for the sweet feedback 🙂