Maqlouba

Maqlouba

By
From
Cairo Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
Jonathan Gregson

This recipe gets its name from the way it is flipped over to be served — ‘maqlouba’ means ‘upside down’ in Arabic. The vegetables are arranged carefully so the presentation is nice once they are turned out. This is a dish that is common to quite a few countries throughout the region.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g short-grain rice
2 small aubergines, sliced into 1 cm rounds
1 medium onion, sliced into whole circles
3 small mixed peppers, sliced lengthways into wide pieces
2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1 cm thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
550ml vegetable stock
3 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
3 whole black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
20g butter
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Wash the rice under cold running water, then soak in fresh water for half an hour.
  2. Season all the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste and coat with the olive oil. On a heated grill pan, grill mark both sides of the aubergine, onion and pepper slices.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock into a large pan and add the cardamoms, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon and turmeric. Heat over a high heat until the broth starts to boil.
  4. Meanwhile, add a pinch of salt and the allspice to the washed rice.
  5. Arrange some of the grilled vegetables and tomato in a circular pattern in a pan approximately 20 cm in diameter and 9 cm deep.
  6. Sprinkle two spoons of the uncooked rice over the vegetables and carry on layering the vegetables and rice. Once all the vegetables are arranged, pour the remaining rice into the pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and arrange over the rice.
  7. Pour the strained boiling broth over the rice and vegetables. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pan and cover with the lid. This will help stop the steam from escaping and therefore speeds up the cooking time. Cook over a high heat until the broth reaches boiling point, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed and the rice grains are tender.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes off the heat, then carefully turn the pan over onto a platter, making sure all the vegetables stay in place.
Tags:
Egyptian
Cairo
Middle
Eastern
street
food
restaurant
chef
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