This is a traditional Egyptian recipe, especially when served with plain rice. Molokhia has a slippery consistency much like okra, and the taste varies according to the method of cooking and the stock that is used. It can be made from fresh, frozen, dried or preserved leaves. When made with rabbit, it is said to be the meal of the Pharaohs, as only the wealthy would indulge in it. It can also be cooked with chicken, duck or beef.
- 1 rabbit
- ⅓ cup plain flour
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed or 1 large bulb crushed
- 2 lemons
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large brown onion, peeled and halved
- 100 g butter or ghee
- 750 g molokhia
- ½ tsp ground or 1 tsp fresh coriander (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 1 hour
To prepare the rabbit, wash the meat well, remove kidneys and any remaining inedible parts.
Rub well with flour and then rinse, to cleanse and prepare the skin. Cut the rabbit into 5 parts and put into a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl mix 1 tbsp of crushed garlic, the juice of 1 lemon and some salt. Rub the marinade into the rabbit, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. This helps tenderise the meat as well as draw out any fluids and impurities.
In a large stockpot, bring 1 litre of water to boil. Add bay leaves, salt and the onion halves. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp of ghee or butter. Add the pieces of rabbit and brown. Add the browned rabbit pieces to the stockpot and boil for approximately 25–30 minutes, until the meat is tender. Strain and reserve 5 cups of rabbit stock.
In the same frying pan, add 2 tbsp butter or ghee, salt, pepper and garlic and fry rabbit until golden. Remove and arrange portions on a serving platter.
In a deep pot bring the reserved broth to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the molokhia and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add more broth if the texture is too thick.
While the molokhia is boiling, in small saucepan heat 1 tbsp butter or ghee, the remaining garlic (approx 2 tbsp), coriander and stir until golden brown. Pour the garlic sauce immediately into the molokhia.
Season to taste. Remove from heat and half cover the pan for 2 minutes.
Serve the molokhia in a bowl with the rabbit separately on a platter, or combine both in one deep bowl. Accompany with a lemon wedge and rice.