Jute Leaf Soup

This soup is made from the leaves of a Jute plant, an okra relative, and like okra has a viscous texture when boiled, which makes it an acquired taste. There are lots of variations on this recipe and it’s most classically made with chicken though I prefer the vegetarian version described below. You’ll usually find the leaves in the frozen section of any respectable Middle Eastern market, and less commonly you may find it fresh. Look for some similarly transliterated version of “Mulukhiya”, “Jute Leaves”, or “Jew’s Mallow”.


Makes 6 servings
  • Mulukhiya leaves
    • 28 oz minced
  • Yellow onion
    • 1 large
  • Fresh garlic
    • 6 to 8 cloves
  • Fresh cilantro
    • 1 bunch
  • Whole coriander
    • 1 tablespoon
  • Water or chicken broth
    • 4 cups
  • Olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon
  • Ground cardamom
    • 4 or 5 pods
  • Salt and pepper
    • To taste
  • Fresh lemon juice
    • 1 lemon
  • Fresh Green Chili
    • 1 large
  • Rice
    • 3 cups cooked


  1. Dice and sauté the onion in the oil until it’s translucent.
  2. In a mortar and pestle grind the coriander and garlic together.
  3. Add the garlic-coriander mixture and fry until the golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic, it’ll turn bitter.
  4. Add the fresh cilantro and the minced mulukhiya to the pot and cover with the water or chicken broth.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, and ground cardamom to the soup.
  6. Bring to a boil with the cover off of the soup then let it simmer for 15 or 20 minutes.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup on top of yellow rice (see the recipe for Ruz) or break up some pita bread into the bowl. Squeeze some lemon and add as much finely diced green pepper as you like just before eating.