I wonder how many of you will be partying tomorrow night. I for one will be having a quiet evening with my lovely friends in their house by the sea, snapping the sun as it sets and going to bed long before midnight. But for those of you who are in a party mood, here is a very unusual Saudi dip made with mulukhiyah (the leaves of the Corchorus species that are commonly known as jew’s mallow) for you to share with your family and/or friends. It takes longer to prepare than a simple dip like hommus or baba ghannuge but it is also a lot more complex and it is a special night after all, at least for some. Hope you enjoy it and wishing you all a prosperous and healthy 2013!
500 g lamb meat from the shoulder
4 cardamom pods
1 stick galingale
500 g dried Mulukhiyah, ground fine in a food processor
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
400 g onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200 g firm ripe tomatoes, diced like for tabbuleh
2 tablespoons tomato paste
200 g yoghurt
½ teaspoon finely ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
Put the lamb in a pot, and add 4 ltr water. Bring to a boil, skim the water clean then add the whole spices and 2 tablespoons sea salt.
Fry the mouloukhya in the olive oil until the aroma rises. Set aside.
Fry the onion in 4 tablespoons olive oil until golden, then add the garlic. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are just wilted. Remove a little of the tomatoes to use as garnish.
When the meat is cooked, drain it, trim it of all fatty bits and shred it into thin flakes.
Add the meat to the onion and tomatoes and sauté for a minute or so. Add the tomato paste and 350 ml water. Cook until the water has reduced and the tomatoes have softened completely without becoming mushy.
Add the mulukhiyeh and ground spices. Mix well. Stir in as much broth as needed to have a thick purée. Add the yoghurt and simmer until the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a little yoghurt and the reserved tomatoes as in the picture above. Serve with pita chips.