Monday, May 21, 2012

Maqluba (upside-down rice)

Maqluba, sometimes pronounced as Maaluba or Maglubais a traditional Levantine dish, believed to have originated in historic Palestine. The dish includes a meat, rice and fried vegetables placed in a pot, which is then flipped upside down when served, hence the name maqluba which translates literally as "upside-down".

Maqluba is usually served with either plain yogurt and/or a simple Arabic salad of diced tomato, cucumber, lettuce, lemon juice and olive oil. 


For the chicken broth
1 whole chicken, washed/cleaned
1 carrot, peeled and sliced longwise
1 small onion, peeled and cut in square
2 bay leaves
few cardamom pods

Bring to boil chicken with carrot and onion.  Allow to boil a little and start removing the foam it accumulated from time to time.  After removing it, throw in the leaves and cardamom.  Allow to boil and chicken to cook for around 40-45 minutes.  When you think it has been cooked, remove the chicken to cool, and sift the broth to remove the cardamom and others.  Once chicken is not hot anymore, start removing meat nicely into somehow thick pieces and set aside on a plate for later use.

For the rice
1 big cauliflower head
2 eggplants
2 cups of rice, uncooked (soak the rice for around 15min prior using it in hot water) (Preferably the Uncle Ben's long grain)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 and half teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of allspice
Pine nuts
Slices almonds

Start cutting each cauliflower and wash them, put to drain, and start deep frying them until gold.  Set aside.

While frying them, to save time, start peeling the eggplants and cut them in slices of around 2cm in thickness.  Cut them on its wide side, not length.  Brush each side of the piece and grill them.  Some people fry them, but I think it soaks in so much oil I don't like it!  Once grilled, set aside.

Pour in a pan around 3 tablespoon of oil.  Pour the drained rice, and flip of 2min.  Add 4 cups of chicken broth, and add the cinnamon, allspice, and salt.  Once start boiling, lower heat, and cover. Allow to cook. It should take between 30-40min.

Once the rice is cooked, move them to a bowl for a while because you need to set up in the same pan you made the rice the other ingredients to be able to flip it and get the end product!

Start putting layers: starting from the chicken, then cauliflower, then eggplant, you can play and put them around the pan, finger pressing the eggplant for instance to stick a little on the pan.  Put carefully the cooked rice on them evenly, and make a small pressure.  Cover until its served.

Fry the pine nuts with a little of oil.  Set aside.  Then fry the almond slices and set aside as well.  These are for decoration purposes and also adds tastes to the rice itself, but its optional!

Now for the serving stage, get a tray in a circle shape that can allow the rice to fit relaxed.  I mean, allowing it to if it breaks down it doesn't fall off the tray.  Carefully with a towel, place the tray on the pan, and quickly flip the rice, allowing it to feel that it went down the tray.  Then carefully take out the pan, and sprinkle with the nuts.



Pam said...

I've never seen a recipe like this before. It looks tasty.

Mrs Ergül said...

Such a sumptuous rice dish!

misschocolat said...

I know this recipe and it's a very good dish.

Brigadelicious said...

On of my husband's favorite dish!!!!

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