Hassan’s story is a drop in the Nile when it comes to the lengths the average Sudanese will go to get mulukhiyah. 

My younger brother Hassan has always had an obsession for mulukhiyah. I don’t blame him! Most Sudanese love the slimy goodness of those dark green leaves chopped into a garlicky, meaty stew, served with bread, rice or kisra. Hassan, like most Sudanese, would go to great heights for mulukhiyah, as we found out in primary school.

My brothers, our cousin, and I all attended the same primary school in Amarat, Khartoum. The headteacher, Ms Amira, was a close friend of our mother’s and knew us from an early age. At some point during our time there, Hassan learned that his friend, one of Ms Amira’s children, eats mulukhiyah in their apartment on the top floor of the school at every lunch break. Hassan couldn’t get the thought out of his head. 

One day looking down disapprovingly at his lunch box, Hassan devised a plan to sneak away from his classmates. He made his way up the private staircase to the head teacher’s apartment three floors up, all so he could eat mulukhiyah. His plan worked beautifully. When they opened the door, he made his demands clear, ‘I want to eat mulukhiyah.’ They happily invited him in, where he continued to join their lunch breaks on a regular basis, always eating mulukhiyah and rice with a touch of lime. 


Hassan’s story is a drop in the Nile when it comes to the lengths the average Sudanese will go to get mulukhiyah. Whether its mullah mulukhiyah mafruka, the blended mulukhiyah stew served with kisra or gurassa, or tabikh mulukhiyah, the denser chopped mulukhiyah stew served with rice or bread, just don’t forget the lime.


This story has been contributed from The Sudanese Kitchen project, established by Omer Al-Tijani Mohamed. The Sudanese Kitchen provides information on Sudanese food and drink to the English speaking world. This project specifically targets Sudanese youth, based in and outside of Sudan, who wish to incorporate traditional Sudanese cooking into their everyday lives, as well as non-Sudanese English speaking foodies eager to learn about Sudan’s relatively undiscovered (on an international scale) cuisine. For more information on The Sudanese Kitchen visit www.sudanesekitchen.com.

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