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Lebanese Mloukhiya

Mloukhiya leaves cooked in a garlicky spicy chicken broth with cilantro

Course Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Authentic, Dinner Party, Healthy
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 8 10


  • 400 g whole dried Mloukhiyeh leaves
  • 100 g of cilantro (fresh coriander) or a large bunch
  • 1 chicken quartered or 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 cracked nutmeg
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 2 green chillis
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 4 lemons
  • Salt and pepper


To make the chicken broth

  1. Make the chicken broth in advance by flash frying the chicken in a drizzle of regular olive oil on high heat for around 5 minutes until golden.

  2. Transfer the chicken to a large stock pot and add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom pods, 1 tablespoon of salt and one whole peeled onion. Bring to the boil and simmer on low heat for one hour.
  3. Once done remove the chicken flesh off the bone and set aside. Strain the liquid with a fine sieve to achieve a clear broth.

To prepare the molokhiya leaves

  1. Prepare the mloukhiya leaves by sorting through them removing any flowering heads or anything irregular. Blanche in hot water with a roughly chopped lemon for a few minutes and drain.

  2. Once the leaves have cooled slightly, take batches in your hand, twist and squeeze out the slimy residue. Repeat 3 times until you have squeezed out most but not all of the residue.
  3. Blot with kitchen towels to remove excess water and lightly fry small batches in a drizzle of vegetable oil on medium heat
  4. In a large pot, finely chop the remaining onion and sauté lightly in the butter until translucent
  5. Peel the garlic bulbs and roughly chop. Add to the onions and sauté together on a low heat being careful not to burn the garlic
  6. Finely chop the green chillis and the cilantro (fresh coriander). Add to the pot along with the dried coriander powder

  7. Sauté everything for a few minutes before adding the fried mloukhiya. Sauté everything for another 5-10 minutes
  8. Add enough chicken broth to cover and the juice of 1 whole lemon. Simmer on low heat for another half an hour then add 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper

  9. After 10 minutes, add the juice of 2 lemons, taste the sauce and adjust as necessary. Turn the heat off after 5 more minutes

  10. Serve with plain or vermicelli rice.