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Khobeizeh (Sautéed Mallows With Onions and garlic)

Sauteed mallow with onions. This Syrian and Middle Eastern dish is easy to make, delicious and healthy, it's simple, light and it's packed with nutrients! Served with Arabic bread and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice

It’s this time of the year when Syria is filled with mallow leaves.

Khobeizeh means mallow in Arabic. Mallow or malva leaves are herbaceous plants with hairy stems, pink or purple flowers, normally harvested in the early months of January and February or during spring depending on the temperature of the area. They are only available during that short period of the year, and that’s when we collect them to either cook right away or freeze to be enjoyed later in the year.

Many people confuse mallow or malva leaves with jute mallow leaves, and in fact, these 2 plants are completely different! We use Jute leaves to cook Molokhia and that’s also the Arabic name for jute leaves, while mallows are called Khobeizeh. Jute mallow doesn't grow in the wild, it’s normally planted and harvested during the summer. But Mallows grow on their own and are picked during early spring.

Mallow leaves are picked when still young, older leaves become tough and not considered edible so we never pick them. When mallow flowers appear during springtime, they look like pink carpets covering the green fields.




▢500 grams mallow leaves

▢2 tablespoons vegetable oil

▢1 onion diced

5 garlic cloves Crushed

▢1 lemon



- Start by removing the leaves from the stems, then wash the leaves very well. I recommend soaking the mallow leaves in water with a little bit of salt before you start cooking with them. Rinse under running water and drain well.

- Saute a diced onion until it becomes soft and translucent. Set aside.

- In the same pot, add the mallow leaves with a little bit of water and using a wooden spoon mix every now and then on medium heat. The mallows will start to wilt and will really shrink in volume.  Then add the garlic.

- When the leaves wilt, mix in the sauteed onion. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.


Lara Khouli