Maqloubeh is an Arabic biryani that even most kids and spice-aphobes will like. It is flavorful and meltingly tender, and clearly an expression of love, because why else would you go to that much effort? The original recipe I used is from the article on Palestinian food in the December 2013 issue of Saveur magazine. I serve it with Israeli chopped salad not in an attempt to be political but because they taste great together. This makes enough to either serve a crowd or have dinner with a week's worth of leftovers. Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients. Really it's just spices, meat, rice, cauliflower, and eggplant. Not too bad. Next time I make this I'm going to double or triple the spices so I have extra for next time. I can be made with chicken as well and garnished with cilantro or fried pine nuts.
"Maqloubeh" is also the name of a short film in which five men in Ramallah are confined to the house and make, you guessed it, maqloubeh. In the movie it is described not as a labor of love, but as the simplest meal you could throw together. I guess my standard of simple is different from theirs. I can't wait to try making this the way they did in the movie.
3/4 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 pounds boneless lamb, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of olive oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups of basmati rice
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 large white onion, minced
2 medium-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch circles
Greek yogurt for serving on the side
Now toss the 2 cups of basmati rice with the melted butter and set it aside. If you are using the same pot that you used to make stock, wipe it out now. It should be an 8 quart saucepan or dutch oven. Once the vegetables are all done you are ready for the next step.
Take the lid off and invert it onto a platter. Tap the bottom of the pot to help release the tomatoes, and set the pot aside. Serve it with thick yogurt and a chopped salad.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!