Maqlubah – a Traditional Arabic Dish


The word actually means “upside-down” for this main dish.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be made with or without meat. Mediterranean in origin, it most always includes eggplant and rice. But from there you can begin your own combination of vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes or cauliflower. Then your meat, chicken or lamb. It is a very easy recipe and presents well at your table. My family enjoys it, but it is also a go-to recipe for company because of its exotic presentation. It couldn’t be easier, as it is made right in the inner pot of your rice cooker and then, when inverted, it makes a great entrance to your dinner table. In keeping with the Mediterranean theme I serve it with plain yogurt and a simple dessert of nuts, dates, and dried apricots.

1 eggplant, unpeeled, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 lb ground lamb
1 cup rice, uncooked
2 cup beef broth, heated

Set the Rice Cooker to Sauté-Then-Simmer and lightly brown the eggplant slices. Remove to a plate.
Add the oil to the pot and sauté the diced onions until tender, then add the garlic, spices, nuts and lamb and cook until the meat is browned.
Spread the meat mixture out evenly and layer the eggplant slices on top followed by the uncooked rice.
Press down with a spatula to make it level.
Gently poor the hot beef broth over the rice.
Set to white rice.
When the rice cooker switches to Keep-Warm, turn it off and let cool for ten minutes.
Remove the inner pot when it is cool enough to handle.
Place a large plate or serving platter on top and carefully invert, holding both sides tightly.
Garnish with mint and yogurt.

Over to You
What’s your favorite Arabic dish? Share and inspire us!

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