UAE: Got 'malunggay'? Try Filipinos' favourite chicken 'tinola' dish; here's a recipe

This soup is easy to make — but do you do it with a twist? Share your tips or perhaps another way to make use of moringa


Kirstin Bernabe

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 8:33 AM

As Filipinos declared their love for the humble malunggay (moringa leaves) in a viral Khaleej Times story, an interesting dish cropped up in online conversations.

Dozens of Pinoy Netizens have said malunggay, a superfood packed with nutrients, is a staple ingredient in their favourite chicken dish called tinola.

Tinola is a famous Filipino soup served with — of course — rice. It has become controversial a couple of years ago, when some haters took to Twitter and described it as the most boring dish that should just be called "chicken with water".

Among Filipinos in the UAE, however, its popularity hasn't waned. They instantly remembered the soup when talk about malunggay hit their news feeds.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

They said they proudly serve it to other nationalities, too. And non-Filipinos who have had a taste, loved it.

Got some malunggay in your backyard or has your Filipino angel picked some for you? Try making tinola.

Chicken 'tinola' recipe


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup malunggay (moringa, drumstick leaves)
  • 1 (1.5 inch) fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 piece green papaya, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • A few tablespoons of fish sauce (adjust based on your preferences)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Water (some use the water used to wash rice) with chicken bouillon cube / 2 cans of chicken broth


  • Saute garlic, onion and ginger.
  • Stir in the chicken and cook until it turns light brown.
  • Add some fish sauce and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Add water / chicken broth for the soup and let it boil. Simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Add green papaya and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Stir in malunggay and cook for 1 minute.
  • Season with pepper. Add fish sauce or salt based on your preferences.
  • Serve hot — with plain rice.


More news from Lifestyle