Egypt : Cooking with Tour Egypt - Molokhia


Mary Kay Radnich

Our melokiyah feature this month has extolled the virtues of melokiyah. Here in the Cooking with Tour Egypt department, we will look at an alternative recipe to traditional melokiyah. My mother in law, Gayle Radnich, is an excellent, creative cook and is the person most responsible for the development of my culinary talents. Recipes, cookbooks and food magazines are all intense topics of conversation when we are together. During a recent visit, she handed me the recipe pages from the May 2001 issue of Cooking Light magazine. "Look! Middle Eastern recipes!" she exclaimed.

Tagine, stuffed dates, mint tea, couscous.. pretty standard fare I think to myself as I peruse the pages. "Whats This??? Egyptian Greens-and-Chicken Stew??" I was very excited when I saw this title, and even more excited when I saw that the very first word in the recipe was Melokiyah !! This recipe substitutes spinach for the melokiyah, because melokiyah, fresh, frozen or dried, can be very difficult to find. I have purchased it in the US frozen and have had it sent to me in dried form straight from Egypt. Probably the only characteristic missing from spinach is the quality of Melokiyah that acts as a natural thickener. Otherwise, the seasonings give this dish a great Middle Eastern flavor. I served it al fresco at a luncheon for a few close friends and they loved it. Egyptian Greens-and-Chicken Stew

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 (2 ) pound chicken, stewed
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • teaspoon salt
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice

Combine first 5 ingredients in an 8-quart stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for one hour. Remove from heat and remove the chicken and let cool. Strain the chicken broth through cheesecloth or fine sieve, into a bowl. Discard the remaining solids. Return the broth to the pan. Remove the chicken bones, discard bones and shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Keep warm. (Note: I cooked my chicken a day ahead and cooled the broth in the refrigerator, so that I could remove the excess fat from the top.) Place onion in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add onion to broth and bring to a boil. Add spinach to broth in batches, cooking until wilted. Heat the oil in a small, non-stick skillet over medium-heat. Add the coriander, salt and garlic, saut 30 seconds or until garlic begins to brown. (This garlic-salt-coriander mixture is called Taliya). Add to spinach mixture and stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken and spinach mixture over rice. 4 servings.

The ancient Egyptians hated gray hair and would use a variety of methods to eliminate it. Sometimes the hair would be dyed after death. The dye of choice was vegetable henna, which, five thousand years later is still used by many native Egyptians (and people abroad) for the same purpose. In one mummy, the henna dyed the natural dark brown hair an auburn color, while turning the unpigmented white hairs a bright orange. Art was a part of everyday life of the ancient Egyptians. And it is clear that they considered their hair as a supreme form of self-art which had endless possibilities. Again, we can thank the skill of these ancient artisans and the climate for allowing us to still enjoy what they did thousands of years ago. ### Ilene Springer writes on ancient Egypt. She is a student of museum studies at Harvard University in Boston.

The Mysteries of Qurna By Sonny Stengle
Traveling by Train in Egypt By Dr. Susan Wilson & Medhat A-Monem
The Charm of the Amulet By Anita Stratos
Egyptian Rock-Art Unveiled By Arnvid Aakre
Great Hair Days in Ancient Egypt By Ilene Springer
Touring With the Young, and Not-So-Young By Jimmy Dunn
A Tour in Egypt's Mohammed Ali's Mosque By Muhammad Hegab
Ancient Egyptian Agriculture By Catherine C. Harris
Why I Keep Going Back, and This is No 'Fish Story'! By Duncan McLean
Off the Beaten Path in the Sinai By Jimmy Dunn
Editor's Commentary
By Jimmy Dunn
Ancient Beauty Secrets
By Judith Illes
Book Reviews
Various Editors
Hotel Reviews By Jimmy Dunn & Juergen Stryjak
Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman
Cooking with Tour Egypt
By Mary K Radnich
The Month in Review By John Applegate
Egyptian ExhibitionsBy Staff
Egyptian View-Point
By Adel Murad
Various Editors
Egypt On Screen By Carolyn Patricia Scott
Restaurant Reviews
Various Editors
Shopping Around By Juergen Stryjak
Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek

Prior Issues

June 1st, 2001
May 1st, 2001
April 1st, 2001

March 1st, 2001

February 1st, 2001

January 1st, 2001

December 1st, 2000
October 1st, 2000
September 1st, 2000
August 1st, 2000

July 1st, 2000

June 1st, 2000

Master Index