New recipe: Noora’s Molokhia with Chicken & Simple Tabbouleh

Molokhia, or jute mallow, is a popular ingredient of middle eastern dishes and is grown widely by gardeners in refugee and IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Molokhia is rich in fibre, helping to improve digestion and lower cholesterol. It is also rich in potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure. 

Noora, who is originally from Damascus in Syria, shares her delicious recipe for molokhia with chicken and an accompanying tabbouleh recipe.

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Noora’s Molokhia with Chicken & Simple Tabbouleh recipe card

Noora now lives in Gawillan refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq with her family, having been forced to leave her home when war broke out. She has a small garden at her shelter where she grows basil, mint, lavender and jasmine but with a larger garden she would grow all kinds of fruit trees.

“My mother taught me to cook and the thing I most like about cooking now is when my own children help me. I still cook recipes that remind me of my family’s home in Syria and never give up on them.”

Noora’s Molokhia with Chicken

Serves 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil
  • 500g chicken (thigh or breast), diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 200g dried molokhia (jute mallow), rehydrated in water for an hour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of cold water (or vegetable stock)
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 2 lemons, quartered, to serve

Method

1. Cook the garlic in a little oil in a large pan, stirring to prevent it from burning

2. Lightly brown the chicken with the rest of the vegetable oil in a separate pan

3. Add the chicken to the garlic oil and leave to cook for 3 minutes

4. Drain the molokhia, squeezing out any excess water by hand, and add it to the pan with the rest of the salt and the lemon juice

5. Add the water or stock and bring to a simmer 6. Turn down the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes

Noora adding molokhia to the pan in her kitchen
Noora’s molokhia with chicken
Noora eating molokhia with chicken

Noora’s Simple Tabbouleh

Serves 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley,
  • Finely chopped 4 large tomatoes,
  • Finely diced 250g bulgur wheat (or cous cous)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

1. Soak the bulgur wheat in a large mixing bowl by covering with boiling water or vegetable stock and leaving to stand for 3-4 minutes

2. Finely chop the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and finely chop the parsley

3. Crush the garlic clove and whisk together with olive oil and lemon juice

4. Combine the tomatoes and parsley with the bulgur wheat using a fork to separate the grains

5. Drizzle over the garlic and lemon juice dressing and cool until ready to serve

(Optional: add finely diced cucumber and spring onion for a crisp finish)

Noora mixing ingredients for tabbouleh
Close up of the tabbouleh
Tabbouleh served with lettuce and lemon

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© All photography by Britt Willoughby Dyer


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