Mloukhia is a traditional Tunisian stew made with dried Jew’s mallow and beef, usually eaten with Tunisian Italian bread.
- 3 ounces of dried Jew’s mallow powder (mloukhia)
- 1 ½ pounds beef, coarsely chopped (hock, chuck, shoulder or cheek)
- ¾ cups of olive oil (or sunflower oil)
- 2 quarts of boiling water (or more)
- 1 teaspoon tabel (Tunisia spice blend)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and crushed
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- Pour 4 tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottom non-stick stockpot and heat.
- Saute the onion, garlic, and meat over medium heat.
- Add the spices and salt and fry over medium heat for 10 minutes, regularly turning the pieces of meat.
- Add tomato and tomato paste and the bay leaves. Stir well.
- In a bowl, mix the jew mallow’s powder with the rest of the oil until you get a smooth paste.
- Pour this mixture over the meat and simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, being careful to stir well with a spatula so that it does not stick to the bottom.
- Add boiling water 4 to 5 times, making sure to stir well between the additions.
- Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, making sure it does not overflow.
- Add the chopped cilantro and mix well.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 to 6 hours.
- Uncover and allow the sauce to reduce until oil begins to appear on the surface.
To know if the mloukhia is ready, dip a piece of bread, if it is wet, it is not cooked yet.
Beware, mloukhia should not be eaten with a spoon; it should be served with warm bread, preferably Tunisian Italian bread.