It is a tall, leafy plant that grows up to 3 feet (1 metre) tall.
The leaf can be used fresh in salads, or cooked with, or dried for storage.
In the Middle East it is mostly used in soups; in India, it is used as a side vegetable like Spinach; in the Caribbean, it is used fresh in salads.
It is sold fresh in bunches, or frozen. You can also buy it as a powder (dried, and crushed to make the powder.) You can buy it in ethic stores such as Arabic or Greek ones.
It is mucilaginous when cooked.
The Egyptians make a soup with it, called the same name — Molokhia. The soup has water, Meloukhia, a bit of onion, garlic and pepper in it, some additional spices such as dried coriander, and uses the mucilaginous qualities of the Meloukhia to thicken it.
Spinach. But if you’re making a dish, such as soup, that might have been counting on the mucilaginous qualities of the Meloukhia to thicken it, you may wish to consider thickening the dish another way.
A Caliph of Egypt, Al-Hakim bi-‘Amr Allah ( 985 AD – 1021 AD) introduced some repressive laws against women. He forbade them from going out into public, and even forbade shoemakers to make shoes for them so that they could go out. He somehow felt that Molokhia was a sexual stimulant for women, and so forbade its consumption by both men and women.
In Arabic, called “Meloukhiya sheitaani.”