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1 pound fresh or thawed, frozen moloukhiya leaves
6 cups chicken (vegetable) stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1 hot chili pepper, cleaned and chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
4 - 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or fresh parsley,
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 teaspoon vinegar (optional)
Clean the spinach leaves. Dry well on a tea towel, and chop as finely as possible.
Over high heat, bring the vegetable (chicken) stock to a near boil in a large pot. Add the leaves, stirring well. Add tomato paste, chili pepper, bay leaf, onion (if desired), and black pepper, continuing to stir. Reduce heat and simmer. Simmer for about twenty minutes.
Heat oil (or butter) in a skillet. Using the back of a spoon in a bowl or a mortar and pestle, make a paste of the garlic, coriander, and salt. Cook mixture in oil, stirring constantly, until garlic is slightly browned, about 3 minutes.
After Egyptian Spinach has cooked 20 minutes, stir in garlic mixture with its cooking oil. Add any of the remaining optional ingredients that you like. Simmer, stirring occasionally, just long enough to integrate all the elements.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
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