Every time we have maqlube, you can hear hearts beating loudly with anticipation just before serving. This layered rice pot is actually tumbled out of the pot onto a serving platter, neck deep, and is supposed to keep its shape nicely. This definitely takes a lot of practice – or just really good luck 😀
The name Maqlube (or Maqluba) actually says a lot about the delicious rice dish with fried aubergines, cauliflower and tender chicken. In Arabic, the name means something like “upside down” or “turned inside out”. And the name really says it all here.
Maqlube: layer after layer a delicacy
If you are in a hurry, you should look for another recipe. Maqlube takes a little time and is great for a leisurely Sunday with the family. First you make a delicious chicken broth yourself. Meanwhile, fry the aubergines and cauliflower in hot oil until nice and golden brown. And finally, the basmati rice, wonderfully refined with all kinds of spices, has to be prepared for its appearance. I admit, there are a few things that have to be done. Fortunately, however, it’s all pretty easy. Maqlube is not witchcraft – at least not in the preparation.
Once you have everything ready, you layer everything neatly on top of each other in the pot. And this is the reason why there can’t be small portions of maqlube. The pot must be so full that you can easily tip it upside down after cooking. And you can do this without making a mess in the kitchen or throwing food in the faces of your loved ones (it’s all been done…).
Spices without end
Hey, don’t run away again. I’m just exaggerating a little. Maqlube is really worth every effort. When you end up sitting at the table with the dish, whatever it is, on your plate, the taste rewards you and you’re floating on the 7th flavour cloud. Before I made Maqlube for the first time, I always wondered how best to distribute the spices so that they got everywhere. My mother has a great trick: you mix the spices (cardamom, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, coriander seeds, turmeric) with the washed rice and the aroma fireworks distribute themselves in the pot.
The critical moment
When you have finished the rice pot, your heroic moment has come. Serving the maqlube is always such an exciting thing that we always do it right at the table with the whole team gathered around. The lid comes off the pot, the serving plate is placed directly on the lid and 3, 2, 1: Tilt! Before the pot is lifted, everyone stares at each other excitedly for a moment. And no matter what it looks like: It will definitely taste fantastic.
Recipe for Maqlube
- Pot with 3 L capacity
For the chicken & broth
For the vegetables
- 1 Eggplant (approx. 250 g)
- 1/2 cauliflower (approx. 500 g)
- 1 Flesh tomato
- 1/2 L Frying oil
For the rice mixture
- 500 g Yogurt
Chicken & Broth
- Wash the chicken and pat dry. Halve the onion with the skin.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the chicken thighs and onion halves for approx. 5 minutes on both sides.
- Deglaze the chicken with 1.5 litres of water, add the spices and simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid closed, then collect 600 ml of the stock.
- Separate the cauliflower into small florets. Cut the aubergine into finger-thick slices.
- Lay the aubergine slices out on kitchen paper, salt them on both sides and leave them for 5 minutes. Then dab the water off the cut surfaces.
- Heat the frying oil in a pan or deep fryer to approx. 180 °C and deep fry the cauliflower and aubergine in it for approx. 5 minutes until golden brown. Then drain both on kitchen paper and salt lightly.
- Wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear. To do this, place the rice in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and pour off the milky water. Repeat until the water runs clear. Then pour away the water completely.
- Mix the wet rice with the spices.
- Cut the beef tomato into slides and cover the bottom of the pot with them.
- Now layer the fried vegetables, chicken and rice one after the other in the pot and pour in 600 ml of the homemade chicken stock and bring to the boil for about 3 minutes.
- Put the lid on the pot and lower the heat to low. Let the maqlube cook for approx. 35 – 40 minutes with the lid closed.
- Leave the finished maqlube to infuse for about 10 minutes with the lid open and the cooker turned off, then place a serving plate on the pot and quickly but carefully turn the pot upside down together with the serving plate.
- Carefully lift the pot and serve the maqlube on the serving plate. Serve with fresh yoghurt.
Be sure to try Musakhantoo!