Molokhia

Corchorus olitorius

$4.95

Pkt(≈60 seeds)
Certified Organic

70 days. Molokhia is a yummy, easy to grow leafy green that is rich in nutrients and minerals. Popular in the Middle East, North Africa, and right here in Dearborn, Michigan - celebrate Michigan’s Arab-American food traditions with Molokhia! “Molokhia,” which is an English transliteration of the Arabic word " ملوخية ", is both the name of the plant and also the delicious dish prepared from it. In the Middle East and North Africa, Molokhia is traditionally made into a green spinach-like soup, stew, or sauce that includes meat (such as chicken, lamb or rabbit) or is poured over meat and rice or served with bread.

Our Palestinian friends, Tahani and Lutfi Othman, cook it in their traditional way by chopping the leaves before cooking and serving as a stew poured over chicken and rice. The Othmans generously brought their Molokhia dish to the 2021 N&N Farm Harvest Festival potluck where it was loved and devoured in short order! Learn more about Molokhia, recipes, and Lutfi and Tahani's story in our Seeds of Our Ancestors series.

When cooked, Molokhia leaves have a mucilaginous texture similar to okra. This “demulcent” quality makes Molokhia easy to digest. Molokhia leaves are removed from the stem before eating. They can be eaten raw, preserved by drying, or cooked and then frozen. Seeds can be started outside, but plants grow bigger (up to 6' tall) when started inside. Leaves can be harvested all summer long until frost. Like okra, hibiscus, and cotton, Molokhia is in the Mallow plant family and goes by many names including “Egyptian Spinach” and “Jew’s Mallow." It is also eaten in West Africa, East Africa, Haiti, India, and southeast Asia. Additionally, jute rope is made from the fiber of Molokhia and related species.

(Other English spellings include: mlukhiyie, mloukhia, mloukhiya, mulukhiyah, mulukhiyyah, molohiya, mulukhiyya, malukhiyah, or moroheiya).

Molokhia is a summer crop that does not tolerate frost. Start seeds indoors in April. Plant seeds 1/8" deep. Germination happens faster at 80°F. Transplant outside into fertile, well drained soil in sunny location, after chance of frost has passed (after 5/21). Plant spacing 12-18". Grows faster with irrigation and fertilization.