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Serves 8


Mulukhiyya is a rather bitter herb with a natural thickening agent. It cannot be found fresh in the United States or Britain but is available dried or frozen in stores selling Middle Eastern products.
BRING 1.2 LITRES / 2 PINTS CHICKEN STOCK to the boil in a saucepan. Add two 450g / 1lb packages mulukhiyya, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to dissolve the herb.

HEAT 3 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL in a small heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons ground coriander and 1 tablespoon ground cumin, cook for 2 minutes, then add the mixture to the stock. Stir in the juice of 2 lemons and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the soup for 8 minutes.

DIVIDE 175G / 6OZ COOKED long-grain rice among 8 bowls, ladle the soup over the rice, and serve.

Mulukhiyya is one of the recipes in 'Apricots On The Nile - A Memoir With Recipes' by Colette Rossant, published by Bloomsbury, ISBN: 0-7475-5397-1, price: 12.99.

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