Cultivated in antiquity by many cultures Egyptian Spinach is known by various names such as Jew's mallow, or in Arabic Malu Khia, or Molokhia, and produces highly nutritious green leaves that are popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Accredited in legend to have healed the ailments of a Pharaoh it is the national vegetable of Egypt and renowned for having medicinal properties.
As a culinary ingredient it is used in many countries including India and South East Asia dishes, and is also popular in Japan. Young leaves are used in salads while older leaves are eaten cooked. Fresh or dried leaves can be added to soups as a thickener, which release a slimy substance when cooked. A tea is made from the dried leaves also. The seed pods may be eaten in the same manner as its relative the Okras.
This fast growing annual is also called Jute Mallow because it is in fact the jute plant commercially grown for the versatile fibres known as ‘Tossa Jute’ to make Burlap, Hessian and ropes. Egyptian spinach is a warm season annual that is easy to grow when located in a warm sunny area with regular watering. Pick young leaves as needed.