Mrenda (Jute Mallow) – Tasty Indigenous Vegetables
This highly nutritious vegetable that is known by many names, Mulukhiyah, Mloukhiya, Molohiya, etc. Many communities around the world love this mrenda. The result is normally thick, slimy (mucilaginous) – same way as okra and most often bitter.
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How to prepare :
The method of preparation varies from community to community.
In Egypt, the leaves are plucked from the stem, their spine removed and then finely chopped before being cooked. Meat like chicken, beef or lamb is normally added. Some cooks even add shrimp. Garlic and coriander are also commonly added. The starch of choice that accompanies Molohiya when serving is rice.
The Lebanese cuisine prepares it slightly differently. The leaves are plucked right off the stem, but the spine is not removed. The vegetable is thereafter prepared by frying together with coriander, some red chilies and garlic to prevent it from becoming slimy. It is finally mixed with some meat like chicken and served with toasted Lebanese bread.
In Kenya the vegetable is known as Mrenda. It is prepared by picking the leaves from the stems. The leaves are cooked whole, no chopping. Some people add milk to it to reduce the bitterness that is associated with the delicacy. Mrenda is a very common vegetable for the people from Western and Nyanza provinces. It is normally served with ugali (Polenta made from white maize).
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