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Molohia, north Cyprus national dish

Molohia, in english jute, is a green leaved plant harvested in early summer. You take the leaves by the stem and dry them in order to enjoy this amazing stew all year round.
Jute, we know of course but then as a bag material, jute bags. But across the Middle East, North Africa and in North Cyprus to make a stew or soup on the plant’s leaves.
Since it is a time consuming process, it is unfortunately not many restaurants that serve this delicacy. When reading Wikipedia it says that there will be a slight slimy, hazy stew as when you boil okra. No! it will not be. The secret is in the preparation, the Molohia must be washed several times until it stops to deliver the soapy liquid. One of the reasons that it takes time. Fill up a bowl with fresh water minimum four times and then let the Molohia steep a moment, then squeeze the water out of it and repeat.
Meanwhile, you can chop up a bunch of onions, garlic and tomatoes. Setting up sweet paprika powder, dried crushed red chilli, not too strong, called Pul Biber, and salt.
The meat will cook with, ideally, sheep / lamb neck
plus a piece of sheep fat from the tail. Of course, as the happy amateur cook I am, I can not help but to experiment, and have then used the trimmed oxtail with a piece sheep tail, and the results have been very good.
Even the mother in law have praised me, and it’s not bad when she is skeptical that I as a foreigner really am able to do something so typical Cypriot and complicated.
You can also use whole chicken pieces on the bone, but it gets a little dry, because it will cook in about 2 hours, or just over 1 hour, if you have a pressure cooker.
When the washing process is finished you brown the meat, step tail and onions, then pour down the chopped tomatoes (and yes you can use canned tomatoes), stir and season, but wait with the salt to the end so that the meat does not become too dry. Fill up with water and throw in the squeezed Molohian.
Let simmer until the meat is completely tender and the Molohia has softened and is not harsh. The sheep fat disappears completely and gives a softness to the dish. Season with salt and squeeze in a half to a whole lemon to suit taste, start with less and increase so that the dish is not too acidic.
To the Molohia is served pilau rice, yogurt and bread.
A well made Molohia is a treat well worth trying if you get the chance!
Nutrition Facts: The leaves are rich in betacaroten, iron, calcium, vitamin C and has more than 32 vitamins and trace elements. The plant is a strong antioxidant with a significant α-tocopherol equated to vitamin E.molohia_blad_planta_norra_cypern_magasinet_north_Ccyprus
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About Madeleine Hunter 90 Articles
Madeleine has lived in Northern Cyprus for ten years now and is a true nature lover. She lives with her husband on a large plot with stunning sea views with the scenery as their only neighbour. Madeleine is a writer for NCM, and writes interesting articles about health care and beauty. Madeleine is also working at an eye clinic and in the summers she leads training sessions in Water aerobics, an exercise she created herself, where you work out your entire body in the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea. In the future Madeleine will start an organic farm for obtaining guaranteed organic food, as part of the holistic view that a body in balance is a healthy body. If you have any questions for Madeleine, please write to: madeleine@norracypernmagasinet.se