Maklouba (upside-down vegetables and rice)
The name Maklouba – meaning “upside down” in Arabic – speaks to the dish’s main features: with roasted vegetables, spiced rice, and a meat of choice, it is presented by carefully flipping the pot over and serving it upside down.
1. Peel and cut the eggplant into thick horizontal slices and marinate them in salt for few minutes, pat with paper towel to remove moisture
2. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 cm thick slices
3. Lightly salt the vegetables and brush them with cooking oil, place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes
4. In a small frying pan, add a tablespoon of cooking oil and stir the sliced almonds and pine nuts until golden, remove and set aside
5. In a pot, sear the meat in some oil, add in a roughly cut onion, the baharat spices, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Stir on medium heat and cover for 5 minutes, then add boiling water to cover the meat, cover again and leave the meat to cook for about 30 minutes.
6. Wash the rice and drain it
7. In a large non-stick pot add a tablespoon of cooking oil, cut an onion in slices and place it in the bottom of the pot, slice the tomatoes and place them on top of the onions.
8. Layer your baked vegetables (eggplants, potatoes, cauliflower) on top of the onions and tomatoes in the pot.
9. Strain the broth from the cooked meat and set it aside you can also top it up with boiling water. Layer the pieces of meat on top of the vegetables
10. Add the rice on top of the meat and vegetables
11. Carefully add 5 cups of broth on top of the rice, allow it to boil over high heat until the water bubbles fully on top of the rice. Reduce the heat and cover the pot, allow to cook for around 50 minutes.
12. Turn off the heat and allow the maklouba to rest for a few minutes.
13. Using a flat tray with slightly raised edges, place it on top of the pot and using both hands to flip it over onto the tray. Keep the pot in place upside down for a few minutes to allow gravity to do the work. This will help keep the maqluba in shape. Then slowly start raising the pot to release the maqluba. You're done!
2 large eggplants
1 cauliflower cut in florets
2-3 large potatoes
2 large onion
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
600-800 gm of veal pieces
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp baharat (7 spices blend made of ground black pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon)
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds and pine nuts (optional for garnish)