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  • Melokhia

    this one i learned while in egypt. It's a favorite there and many arab countries have their own version. In syria they leave the melokhia whole, while in egypt they chop them fine. I prefer the egyptian way:->

    green herb soup

    6 cups chicken or meat stock flavored with onion
    1 chicken stock cube
    fresh ground black pepper
    1/2 cups melokhia leaves, either fresh if you can get them, or frozen. (check with local international shops for this if in the west)
    2 leaves silverbeet or swiss chard (opt)
    1 quantity Ta'ley (recipe follows)

    Bring strained stock to boil and add stock cube crumbled. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
    Measure melokhia leaves, then if not chopped, chop them very fine. Remove white stalks from silq and chop fine.
    Add herbs to the boiling stock and bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered on medium heat for 15 mintues, or until the slime has almost disappeared.
    Make ta'leya and add to the soup, cover and simmer another 2 mintues. Serve hot with lemon juice and traditionally also with a bowl of chopped onions soaked in vinegar or lemon juice to add as desired.

    Serves 6
    Takes about 20-30 minutes to make

    garlic sauce

    4-6 cloves garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons samneh or clarified butter
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    pinch of hot chili pepper

    Crush the garlic with a mortar and pestle, mixed with the salt.
    Heat samneh in a small pan, and add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until just golden, remove from heat. Stir in coriander and chili pepper. Use while hot.
    (If desired for a little extra flavor, you can add the spice while simmering, but simmer only half a minute longer to avoid burning the spice)
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