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Makloubeh

A pot of rice, stewed meat and vegetables that's flipped upside down and garnished with toasted nuts. It's a very common dish in the Middle East and absolutely delicious!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: rice, middle eastern
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 408kcal
Author: Farah Abumaizar

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil for drizzling on the vegetables
  • 1 tsp salt for seasoning the vegetables
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and sliced,
  • 2 medium sized eggplants, peeled into strips and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into large florets

For the meat broth:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1.5 lb lamb pieces, boneless or bone in 700g
  • 1 onion, cut into half
  • 1 head garlic, cut into half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp seven spices or allspice powder
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For assembling:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 7 oz total (200g)
  • 2.5 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained well
  • salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Prepare the vegetables:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 C (220C). Add the cauliflower florets and potato slices to one baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out. Add the eggplant slices to another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, in a single layer. Drizzle both trays of vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place both trays in the oven at the same time.
  • Roast for around 30 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown and cooked through. they'll probably need around 30 minutes. You can flip the potato slices around halfway through, but it's not necessary. Once vegetables have roasted, remove from the oven and set aside until it's time for assembling.

For the meat:

  • Add the oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the meat pieces and cook, stirring until browned on each side. Add the onion and garlic, the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.
  • Add enough water to the pot to cover the meat completely. I used 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface and discard it.
  • Cover the pot, reduce heat to a medium low simmer, and cook for 40-45 minutes or until lamb pieces are cooked through and tender. Alternately, you could cook the meat in an pressure cooker or instant pot according to your preference.
  • Once the meat is cooked, pour the stock over a strainer, catching the stock in a bowl. Discard the whole spices, and keep the meat pieces aside.
  • To the strained stock, stir in the seven spices or all spice, salt, black pepper, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Taste it, it should taste pretty salty. Set stock aside.

To assemble:

  • In a large clean saucepan (you can clean the one you used to make the stock), drizzle the oil to coat the bottom. Layer the tomato slices on the bottom, this will help keep the rice from sticking.
  • Arrange the eggplant slices evenly around the pan, coming up the sides of the pan if you can so that they'll sort of end up wrapping the rice mixture (see video below for clarification).
  • Sprinkle the eggplants with salt, and add all the meat cubes to the pan. Add the chickpeas on top of the meat. Add half the rice and spread it out evenly. Add the cooked potato slices and half the cauliflower florets. Season these vegetables with a sprinkle of salt.
  • Add the second half of the rice on top of the vegetables, and pat with the pack of a wooden spoon to firmly press it into the pan.
  • Pour the meat stock over the rice. It should cover the top of the rice by about 1/2 inch. If you need to, add a little water in order to submerge the rice, maybe 1/2 cup or so. Place the pot of rice on medium high heat until the water in it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes or so, then tightly cover (if your lid doesn't fit tightly, you can place a kitchen towel under the lid before covering).
  • Reduce heat to low, and cook for 50-55 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy. Remove from heat and let the pot stand for 5-10 minutes.
  • After the rice has rested, remove the lid and place a serving platter or tray on top of the pot. Flip the pot upside down, but don't lift the pot up for a few minutes to give the rice time to drop. After a few minutes pass, slowly use the pot handles to lift and remove the pot.
  • Garnish your makloubeh with plenty of toasted nuts and parsley. Enjoy immediately! We like this with yogurt and/or a simple green salad.

Notes

You can substitute bone in chicken pieces for the meat. You'll need less time to cook it, maybe 30 minutes or so.
You can do this with all eggplants or all cauliflower, and omit the potatoes if you like.
You can use a mix of short grain and long grain rice, a 50/50 ration if you like.
See post above for instructions on toasting nuts. The toasted nuts add so much flavor toe the dish!
 
 
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Nutrition

Calories: 408kcal