Salwaa Smith – Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights
Maqluba (means upside down in Arabic) is a very popular dish among Palestinians. It’s basically a layered pot of meat or chicken , vegetables and rice. Cooked all together and then flipped over a big flat platter to serve. For variation you may add cauliflower florets as well. We got this recipe from a Palestinian friend of my husband who says this dish is served at many special occasions in their country.
The first time i made this recipe was way back in 2013, since then I’ve made it a few times and my family enjoyed it each time i made it.
½ cup vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium size chicken, cleaned, skin removed and cut into small pieces
2 tsp salt
1½ tsp allspice
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 cardamom, crushed
2 bay leaf
1 lage aubergines, peeled and sliced
1 -2 courgettes, washed and sliced
1 small cauliiflower
3 tomatoes, sliced
2½ cups basmati rice, thoroughly washed
A handful almond slivers (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan, add onions and chicken and stir over a medium heat for couple of minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, allspices, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Add 4 cups of water, cover the pot and let simmer until cooked approximately 30 – 45 minutes (cooking time varies for lamb which will cook from an hour to two and half, depending on meat type).
Meanwhile, heat the rest of vegetable oil in large frying pan. Add aubergine, courgette slices as well as the cauliflower, sauté both sides until golden brown. Place them on paper towel to absorb oil and set side.
In a big pot, add a half a cup of rice (to avoid burning of the meat). Arrange chicken, tomato slices, aubergine, courgettes slices and the cauliflower in layers. Pour the remaining liquid from the chicken, and then add rice. Add a small pinch of salt (optional). Bring the pot to a boil over a medium heat. Then cover it and turn the heat down to low and let simmer until rice is cooked (from 20 to 30 minutes). Turn the heat off.
Leave the pot to cool for 15 to 20 minutes, and then carefully flip it up-side down over a serving platter. Sprinkle a handful of almond sliver over. Serve warm with fresh yogurt or salad.
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