Melokhia (egyptian herb soup)

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
4½ ounce Dried melokhia leaves, or:
4¼ pounds Fresh melokhia leaves
1½ quart Strong stock
\N \N Salt
\N \N Black pepper, freshly ground
1 ounce Butter
3 \N Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon Ground coriander
½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Crush the dried Melokhia leaves. Put them in a bowl and moisten with a little hot water. Set aside until they swell and double in bulk. If the leaves are not brittle enough to crumble, dry them out in a warm oven for a few minutes. If fresh leaves are being used, wash them thoroughly and cut off the stalks. Spread the leaves out on a clean cloth to dry. Chop them finely. Put the stock in a large saucepan (you can use any stock, except pork). Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the chopped or crumbled leaves and simmer for 10 minutes if the leaves are fresh and for 30 minutes if dry.

Meanwhile, prepare the "Taklia" or garlic sauce. Melt the butter in a small frying-pan. Add the garlic and fry, stirring, until it is golden brown. Add the coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic mixture to the soup, cover the pan, and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

"Melokhia is a soup made from an Egyptian herb similar to spinach. It is one of the national dishes of Egypt. Melokhia leaves are available dried from Greek shops, and occasionally the fresh leaves are available in some markets."

If you can't get Melokhia, try this recipe with spinach. Works for me! ~Heiko.

Source: Jane Grigson (ed.): The World Atlas of Food. A Gourmet's Guide to the Great Regional Dishes of the World. Mitchell Beazley Publishers 1974. This edition: Spring Books, London 1988. ISBN 0 600 55929 7. Typed by Heiko Ebeling.

Submitted By HEIKO EBELING On 07-20-95

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