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Maqluba - The Tatin Of The Savoury World In Palestine

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Maqluba is an Arabic dish from the Levant and means ‘upside down’. So it’s the tatin of the savoury world in Palestine.

Description: Maqluba

Maqluba

Serves 4

Preparation 30 min plus soaking

Cooking approx 1hr 30 min

·         175g (6oz) brown basmati rice

·         1 tsp ground turmeric

·         2 large aubergines

·         5 – 6 tbsp olive oil

·         450g (1lb) minced lamb or good pork sausages, skinned and crumbled

·         1 tbsp freshly ground allspice

·         ½ tsp ground cinnamon

·         Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

·         2 – 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped

·         2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

·         Sea salt and black pepper

·         2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced

·         45g (1lb) courgettes, sliced lengthways

·         125g (4oz) Puy or red lentils

·         4 large tomatoes, sliced, or 24 whole cherry tomatoes

·         568ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

·         25g (1oz) pine nuts or flaked almonds (or a mixture), lightly toasted

·         1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

·         1 tbsp chopped mint

1.    Tip the rice into a bowl, add the turmeric and pour on sufficient water to cover, then leave to soak for an hour. Preheat the oven to 1900C (1700C fan, gas mark 5). Cut the aubergines into slices, the thickness of a $ 1.5 coin. Brush with olive oil on both sides and lay on a large baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 min until tender.

Description: 1. Tip the rice into a bowl, add the turmeric and pour on sufficient water to cover, then leave to soak for an hour

Tip the rice into a bowl, add the turmeric and pour on sufficient water to cover, then leave to soak for an hour

2.    Meanwhile, put the mice or sausage into a bowl and add the spices, thyme, garlic, ½ tsp salt and a good twist of pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands until evenly combined.

3.    Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, add the meat and stir over a medium-high heat until evenly browned. Tip out onto a plate; set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan, then cook the onions and courgettes gently until soft. Remove from the heat.

4.    Drain the rice thoroughly and toss with the lentils. Oil a tatin pan or large gratin dish and arrange a layer of tomatoes on the bottom. Layer half of the rice and lentils on top and cover with half of the aubergines. Add the spiced meat in a layer, followed by the onions and courgettes, the remaining aubergines and finally the rest of the rice and lentils.

Description: Drain the rice thoroughly and toss with the lentils.

Drain the rice thoroughly and toss with the lentils.

5.    Pour on three-quarters of the hot stock, cover and bake for 40 min, then add the rest of the stock, re-cover and return to the oven for 20 min or until the rice is cooked through.

6.    Lay a warmed large plate over the top when invert the maqluba, gently removing the tatin pan. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and chopped parsley and mint to serve.

Description: Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and chopped parsley and mint to serve

Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and chopped parsley and mint to serve

Cook’s note

Maqluba is an Arabic dish from the Levant and means ‘upside down’. So it’s the tatin of the savoury world in Palestine.

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