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This post is also available in: Arabic
PROVIDED BY WASFA SAHLA
3 cups Basmati rice
1 kg meat cubes (lamb, beef or veal)
3 large onions, sliced
3 eggplants, peeled and sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 tsp ground cardamom (habbahan)
1/2 cup almonds, fried (optional)
1/2 cup pine nuts, fried (optional)
Salt and pepper
Wash meat under running water. In a deep pot boil meat until tender. Strain and put aside 3 -4 cups of meat broth. Fry eggplant slices in a little oil over high heat (be careful not to over-fry). Drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Fry onions in 4 tbsp oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. In a large deep non-stick pot, arrange meat cubes to form a layer at the bottom. Add half the quantity of onions on top of meat layer. Arrange tomato slices, then eggplant slices, then the rest of onion slices. Wash rice well under running water and drain. Add rice to the pot on top of these layers. Sprinkle salt, pepper and cardamom. Pour strained broth over the pot slowly so that it doesn’t mix up the layers. Put pot over medium-high heat until broth is almost absorbed. Move to low heat, cover and leave to cook for 20 – 30 minutes. You may need to add a little more water. Remove from heat. Put a serving platter on top of the pot, invert it so that its contents are placed on the dish preserving their shape. Remove the pot, sprinkle fried almonds and pine nuts and serve immediately.
Tip: Sprinkle 2 tbsp uncooked rice in the bottom of the pot used to cook the Maklouba before adding any of the components so that the meat and eggplant don’t stick to the pot during cooking.