Molokhia: A Taste of Pharaonic Era

Molokhia is a nutrient-dense soup cooked with jute leaves and served with rice and grilled chicken. The ‘adha,’ which is garlic and coriander sautéed in ghee and added at the very end, provides the most of the flavour.

The Super Food of Ancient Egyptian Kings

Molokhia is a favourite of many. It holds a particular place in the hearts of many Egyptians, and even some visitors fall in love with it. It has a certain consistency that distinguishes it. It’s delicious served as a soup with Baladi bread or as a main course with white rice. Our affection for Molokhia is undeniable, and our connection with the distinctive green soup dates back to ancient times.

The Super Food of Ancient Egyptian Kings

The ancient Egyptians

In this period, there are two contradictory stories regarding Molokhia. Egyptians used to believe it was a deadly plant that they couldn’t consume until the Hyksosian conquest of Egypt, when Egyptians were forced to eat it as a form of humiliation and punishment. It has since become the Egyptians’ favourite dish. It always has a place on their dining table, whether for family lunch or more celebratory events!
In the book Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table: A Fourteenth-Century Egyptian Cookbook, author Nawal Nasrallah writes: “The ancient Egyptians left no culinary recipes, but food remains from their tombs and coffin murals, that depict baking and other food-related activities, testify to the sophisticated level of their cuisine… These depictions also reveal the abundance of their produce such as Jew’s mallow (mulukhiyya).” 

Al Mu’iz Era

There is another old story, or a fun fact, about Molokhia in Al Mu’iz Era. Al Mu’iz Li Din Allah, the Fatimid Caliph, was unwell, suffering from acute colic in his bowel. As a result, his doctor advised him to consume Molokhia, which he did, and he felt much better. The name ‘Molokhia’ means ‘It belongs to the king’. Only the king can eat it, and it is forbidden for regular people. It is a dish worthy for a king because it is so good, and it has so many health benefits.
It states that the term comes from the word “majestic,” referring to a dish that was only provided to Egyptian monarchs and royal families.


where does Molokhia stand today?

So, where does Molokhia stand today? Have contemporary Egyptians added some creativity? Yes, it is true! One of the most ancient recipes is dried Molokhia, which is considered to have a distinct flavour from the ordinary preparation; definitely something you should try at least once in your life!