Maqluba which means upside down is a popular dish in the Levant. The dish is usually made with beef or chicken, fried eggplant and ghee. The dish is heavy and it is served with tomato cucumber salad.
I made few adjustment to this dish so it can be healthier and enjoyed by vegan. Maqluba is very unique way to serve eggplant. Give this dish a try especially this summer when every friend give you couple eggplants from their backyard garden.
I use mushroom instead of beef.
Wash, rinse and soak the rice in warm water for 30 minutes.
Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and broil until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat the rest of the olive oil and cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add the onion to the oil and cook the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped jalapeno and rose mary and cook for extra couple minutes.
In a round, heavy-bottom 6 quart cast iron casserole place the mushroom on the bottom. Arrange several eggplant slices over the mushroom and line the wall of the casserole. Press the eggplant over the mushrooms.
Spoon the rice over the eggplant and spread evenly and then sprinkle half of the spices over the rice. Place more slices of the broiled eggplant over the rice and press gently with your hand.
Pour the water, salt and rest of the spice over the mixture. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 45 minutes or until the rice is done and the liquid absorbed.
Remove from the heat. Allow the dish to rest for 15 minutes.
To serve, take off the lid, place large round serving platter over the top of the casserole, hold both sides very tightly and invert quickly. Leave the casserole sitting for couple minutes and then slowly and gently lift the casserole. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.
- ½ . cup olive oil
- 2 . medium size eggplant, cut ½ inch thick lengthwise
- 1 . pound mushroom
- 1 . onion, chopped
- 1 . jalapeno, diced
- 2 . tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 1 . cup rice, short grain
- 1 . teaspoon allspice
- ¼ . teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 . tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
- Place the eggplant on cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and broil until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Wash, rinse and soak the rice in warm water for 30 minutes.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in heavy cast iron casserole. Cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Spoon the cooked mushroom into dish and set aside.
- Spoon the chopped onion onto the casserole and cook until the onion are translucent. Add the jalapeno and the rosemary and cook for couple minutes. Remove this mixture and set aside.
- Place the cooked mushroom back in the casserole, head side down,.
- Place couple slices of the broiled eggplant over the mushrooms and press gently. Line the wall of the casserole with more eggplant slices. Spoon the cooked onion, jalapeono and rosemary over the eggplant.
- Drain the rice and spoon over the cooked vegetables. Spread evenly. Mix the spices and sprinkle half over the rice. Top the rice with the rest of the broiled eggplant. Press gently. Add 1½ cups of water and the rest of the spices. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 45 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and allow the rice to rest for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, To serve, take off the lid, place large round serving platter over the top of the casserole, hold both sides very tightly and invert quickly. Leave the casserole sitting for couple minutes and then slowly and gently lift the casserole. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.