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|Maqloubeh (Upside-down)eggplant casserole
Maqloubet Batinjan (Upside-Down Eggplant Casserole)
2 large eggplants
Salt to sprinkle on raw eggplants
1 ½cups long grain rice (preferably Basmati)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 large onions,diced
1 kg lean stew beef cut into medium pieces
1 large recipe tomato,thicly sliced
1 ½tbsp salt
½tsp.ground black pepper
A good pinch o turmeric (kurkum)
1 tsp.allspice (Arabic mix or Pimento)
Garlic, garlic and more garlic (of course it is up to your taste buds but I recommend 4 cloves of garlic)
¼cup pine nuts fried to a light blondish-color in a bit of vegetable oil
¼cup peeled and slivered almonds fried to a light blondish-color also in vegetable oil
Sprigs of parsley or cilantro (fresh coriander) for garnish
Peel eggplants, then slice length-wise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, sprinkle with salt and set aside for at least one hour. Soak the rice in boiling water to cover for 20 minutes.
Squeeze eggplant to remove excess water and pat dry with paper towels (this lessens their absorption of frying oil)and deep fry in oil (in batches) until well browned.Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate full of paper towels over and under the pieces.
In a casserole pot,place the onions and meat on low heat and stir until color of meat whitens and add the water.Bring to a boil and keep on medium heat until meat is done (45-60 minutes depending on kind of meat).When done empty meat and broth into a side container.Place the thick slices of tomatoes at bottom of casserole pot,then add the meat,crush half of the garlic on top of the meat, add fried eggplants along with the spices and the rest of the garlic (sliced).Drain rice and spoon over the eggplant;spread out to cover.Pour the meat broth and bring to a boil.Cover lower heat to very low and cook until all water is absorbed (30-40 minutes).
Remove lid,invert a large platter over the top of the pot and flip over pot and platter together so the meal settles on the platter like a cake (don't worry if done well,or with practice,it will hold).Serve hot garnished with fried pine nuts and almonds.Garnish platter with parsley or cilantro. Great accompaniment is yogurt or vinaigrette salad.
Source: This Week in Palestine - Palestinian Recipe of the Month