Maqluba | Maalouba | Maqlooba | Makloubah. Loved by the likes of DJ Khaled and Dua Lipa. Let’s celebrate friends of Middle Eastern heritage! The dish containing stacked layers of vegetables, meat and rice, is served flipped-over resembling a gorgeous, colourful tower. It’s healthy, clean and comforting! Adapted from LinsFood.
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, washed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 eggplant, chopped in half-circles
1 zucchini, chopped in thin strips
1 tomato, cut to 6-8 slices
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped in sections
1/2 white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps allspice
3/4 tsp saffron
3 tbsps olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsps pine nuts, toasted
Cilantro or parsley, chopped
1. Bake cauliflower and eggplant with 1 tbsp olive oil, in oven at 375°F for 25 minutes. Set aside.
2. Sautée onions for 3 minutes in 2 tbsps olive oil. Add celery. Once onions caramelize, add beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste, with allspice. Cook till browned, medium-high heat.
3. Drain all liquid from pan and pat beef dry with paper towels.
4. Grease a large pot with olive oil. Line bottom with tomato slices. Add salt and pepper.
5. Pat down beef firmly, seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper.
6. Add layer of cauliflower, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
7. Add eggplant, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
8. Add red pepper, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
8. Add zucchini, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
9. Add rice, levelling evenly. Prop a small saucer over middle and ladle stock over. This will prevent a hollow from forming in middle. Add salt, pepper and saffron.
10. Cook on high heat 3-5 minutes or till you see some bubbling through the rice.
11. Cover lid, cook low heat 45 minutes. At halfway mark, gently scoop moistened rice to the top. Remove pot from heat once done.
12. Place platter over top of pot. Carefully flip pot over the platter and gently lift pot off, revealing your Maqluba.
13. Garnish with cilantro/parsley and pine nuts. Serve with plain yogurt.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
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