Today I will share another Middle Eastern dish called Maqluba. .
Over the years, I've seen various versions of Maqlub. Maqluba is a Palestinian dish popular throughout the Middle East. Once the dish is cooked, the cooking pot is turned upside down and removed to reveal the edible crown beneath.
I have no doubt that Maqluba takes centre stage on the table at Middle Eastern family feasts, especially now when many Muslims across the world are taking part in the holy time in the Islamic calendar of Ramadan and this may be part of the Iftar meal - breaking of the fast. I do however wonder how the Syrian asylum seekers in the Calais Jungle in France are coping at this trying and testing time. There is an initiative called The Refugee Community Kitchen which has seen a group of compassionate people band together to help the refugees living in the camps of Europe. The Refugee Community Kitchen have come together to create a kitchen to feed people to sustain them and their children. I hope we can all play a small part here and donate a little.
Maqluba is often made with meat, but I have adapted a meat version from Libyan Food and Kitchen of Palestine. into a version, suitable not just for vegetarians but also vegans. This one is made with aubergines and cauliflower.
I have to admit, I was expecting it to collapse on removing the pot, but it remained perfectly intact. I was really pleased to even slice it perfectly too. Feel free to sprinkle with toasted pine-nuts, almonds or herbs.
Other posts related to Refugee Week
Eritrean Zigni and Berbere
Middle Eastern Kibbeh
Somalian Fava Beans
Syrian Cauliflower Zahra Mnazalet
Zimbabwean Butternut Squash
I am sharing some of these pictures Sunday Snap hosted by JibberJabber UK for Sunday Snap; and the recipe with Honest Mum for Brilliant Blog Posts; Kimmy and Mary Ellen for Healthy Vegan Fridays; Credit Crunch Munch hosted this month by Lovely Appetite and often co-hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food For All and finally and CookBlogShare hosted Hijacked By Twins.
Vegan Aubergine and Cauliflower Maqluba
Serves 6 - 8 with accompaniments
400g Basmati rice, washed and drained and set aside
2 medium aubergines, sliced thickly
2 medium onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Baharat spice blend
1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large cauliflower, florets cut in half into slices
1 1/2 pint - 13/4 pint vegetable stock
Salt to taste
You will need a non-stick pot measuring around 8 - 10 inches wide with a tight fitting lid.
Baste the aubergine slices in olive oil and bake in oven until tender.
Remove from oven and set aside.
While the aubergines are baking int he oven, heat oil in a wide pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft.
Then stir in the spices and season to taste, then stir in the cauliflower florets and cook on medium heat for it to tinge here and there.
Coat the non-stick pot, this is precautionary and not essential but it does help with a little oil. Then layer the bottom and the sides with the cooked aubergine slices.
Then carefully and evenly layer over the cooked cauliflower with the spiced oniony mixture.
Then top with the drained rice and press down gently to even out.
If you have any aubergines left, feel free to top the rice off with them.
Then carefully pour over the vegetable stock.
The stock should be above the rice at least 2 inches, if not - top up with hot water.
Bring to a gentle boil.
The rice should begin to thicken and come to the surface, when this happens,
Turn the heat down and cover the pot with the lid that has been covered either with foil or a cloth and cover tightly.
leave for 30 minutes undisturbed
After 30minutes, check if rice is cooked. Turn of the heat and allow to sit for 10 - 20 minutes before attempting to remove from the pot.
Transfer to a large plate.
Scatter over optional nuts and herbs.
This recipe is adapted from Libyan Food and Kitchen of Palestine.