Liberian Cuisine 'Palava Sauce'

Molokhiya Leaf

What is Palava Sauce?

Palava sauce is a West African dish made with molokhiya, a leafy, deeply green vegetable from the mallow family. The leaves can either be ground or cooked in its natural state. It is then prepared with chicken, beef, seafood, seasoning, and peppers. Palava sauce can be cooked with palm oil or without any oil. Like all Liberian soups, it can be eaten with rice as well as with fufu.

The name palava sauce comes from the Portuguese word “palaver,” which means a talk, lengthy debate, or quarrel. As the story goes, when the soup was first made, people would start quarrels and slap each other with the molokhiya leaf. Another theory is that the spices used in the soup mingle together like raised voices in an argument. Palava sauce has been thought of as having the power to calm tensions…or to cause them.

How to Make Palava Sauce (click link below)

Benefits of the Molokhiya Leaf

1.     Lowers blood pressure

Molokhiya leaves have been found to reduce the risk of hypertension by effectively helping reduce blood pressure. Molokhiya leaves are rich in potassium, and since potassium is a known vasodilator (a group of medicines that open blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily), it helps relax the arteries. This property of potassium helps improve oxygenation and reduces cardiovascular strain.

2.     Improves Circulation

Molokhiya leaves are rich in iron, which not only increases red blood cell production, but also leads to improved blood circulation. Iron is needed for the blood to carry oxygen, and a deficiency in iron usually results in anemia. An iron-rich diet ensures that blood circulation is at the optimal level, which in turn helps you stay energetic.

3.     Lowers Cholesterol

Molokhiya leaves have been proven to reduce blood pressure and are rich in dietary fiber, which makes them one of the best agents for cholesterol reduction.