Maqluba – Upside-down Rice

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, 1 medium size
  • Onion, minced, 1 medium size
  • Allspice, 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, 2 large
  • Potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, 2 large
  • Water or stock, well seasoned with salt, 2 cups
  • Rice, soaked 1/2 hour in water to cover, 1 1/2 cups
  • Pine nuts, 1/2 cup

Method:

  1. Drain the rice and put aside
  2. Gently roast the pine nuts and put aside
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the eggplant slices on each side to lightly brown. Remove to a plate
  4. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and sauté the onions until translucent. Add allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and sauté. Add water / stock and put aside
  5. Grease a 3-quart heavy bottomed saucepan well with olive oil. Lay the tomato slices to cover the bottom of the saucepan. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the rice over the tomatoes. Lay the potato slices to cover the rice and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of rice over the potatoes. Lay eggplant slices to cover the rice and press down well to compact all the ingredients. Add the rest of the rice and the seasoned water or stock
  6. Bring to a boil over medium-high flame, then quickly reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 30-35 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, check to see if more water needs to be added
  7. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove lid and invert a serving platter over the saucepan. Turn upside-down and carefully slip the saucepan off the rice
  8. Cover with roasted pine nuts and serve hot

Servers: 6

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