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This Week’s Vegan Recipe: My Cypriot Grandmother’s Mulukhiyah

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Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my grandmother in and out of the kitchen.

Mulukhiyah, also called molohiya or molokhia, is a leafy green vegetable popular throughout many cultures. When put in a stew (or soup, in some cultures), the dish will adopt the same name as the vegetable with which it’s prepared. The thick, hearty leaves are rich in folate, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants. So, they’re healthy and full of fiber.

(Hint: Look for Mulukhiyah leaves in your international food aisle or grocery store. In the States, they’ll often be packaged dry, but retain a similar fresh consistency.

Rumors have it that in Egypt, a pharaoh once banned his subjects from eating mulukhiyah because he thought it an aphrodisiac. Luckily, his successor was kind enough to let people eat it again.

Growing up, Mulukhiyah was always one of my favorites and tastes even better when you use an authentic Cypriot olive oil, like Colive. It’s a generations-old olive oil recipe made by Hasan Siber and his family. His family harvests the mainly Kypriaki olives from each side of Cyprus, fostering peace through sustainable farming and food, a tradition that’s been somewhat necessary post-conflict.

Let me take you through my grandmother’s method. She learned this recipe from her family, and now it’s a traditional dish I serve in my home.

 

Vegans use potatoes and lemons to retain a nice consistency in the stew. That will keep it from getting too gelatinous. In my house, we serve Mulukhiyah with rice pilaf, Oatly yogurt, extra lemon wedges, and sometimes a spicy pickle mix called tursu. Giardiniera works, too, if you can’t find the tursu at your local market. And, if needed, flavor it with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Image Credit: Author
Image Credit: Author. My Grandmother Tuly making Mulukhiyah.

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