This dish has traveled from India to the Middle East and North Africa where it became national dishes. In Egypt, it sis prepared with its leaves, while in Tunisia it is cooked in a very special way as the leaves are not used as such but rather transformed to a powder used in this generous stew. This was my dad’s favourite dish. I remember how much heart he put into this when he would cook it for us. I want to call it The Heart of a Tunisian Father, that is how I feel about this dish. If you want to taste or have memories about your childhood and would like to cook it then read further for a delicious Tunisian Molokhia easy recipe!
This Tunisian dish is a slow cooking stew that can take up to 6 or 7 hours. It is not uncommon that the paste is made the evening before and the stew is finished over the next day but you don’t have to do this if you want to cook it during the day. I have found that if you have a special pressure cooker like this one on Amazon you can speed the process without losing the taste!
I will warn you, there is no middle way with this dish, you either love it or not. Which side are you on? Let us know!
- 150 ml olive oil (Extra virgin oil if you have)
- 500 gr beef, lamb or chicken
- 100 gr Molokhia powder (if you find only dried leaves you can use a food processor to transform it into powder and use a sieve to remove big pits. You might have to do this 2 or 3 times)
- 1 tbsp Harissa
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp ras al hanout spice
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 onion
- 6 garlic gloves
- 3 Bay leaves
- Chop the onions and the garlic
- Cut your meat in large cubes
- Add oil to a big pan and the garlic and onions and stir for 5mn
- Add the meat and sear it
- remove the meat/onions/garlic and reserve it
- Turn the stove off and add the Mololkhia powder
- Mix until it forms a paste
- add boiled water to 3/4 of the pan
- let the sauce cook at low to medium heat for two hours and stir it often
- Add the meat, the spices, the harissa paste, tomato puree and the bay leaves, as well as salt and pepper to your taste
- Leave it to cook for 3 to 4 hours on low heat. Stir it every 30 min or so. (one hour if you use a pressure cooker)
- Your meat should stay together so if it soften it up too much, take it out of the sauce while you let it cook further
- When the oil comes up, it means your Molokhiya stew is ready!
If you enjoy Tunisian food you may also like this stew; Market Jelbana
Let us know what you think!