Maklouba translates to upside down in Arabic. This dish was given this name because of the way it is prepared. The bottom of a pot is layered with vegetables and meat and then rice is put on top. The whole pot is flipped over when served. If it is made correctly, the rice and vegetables/meat will stay together like a cake.
There are a few keys to getting the Maklouba to stay together when flipped. First make sure your pot is greased well so the vegetables don't stick to the bottom. Second make sure your rice is still steaming hot when you put it on top of the vegetables (you will want to have your vegetables and meat prepared before you make the rice). Third, after you take the pot out of the stove, allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Having the rice steaming hot and allowing it to sit for 20 minutes is what makes the rice stick together. If your Maklouba doesn't stick together, don't stress. It will still taste great!
Serves about 6
1 lb beef, your choice of cut (leave this out to make it vegetarian)
1 large eggplant
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
3 medium tomatoes or 2 large
3 medium sized potatoes or 2 large
1 cup oil (whatever oil you use to pan fry)
1/2 teaspoon baharat (middle eastern allspice)
1/2 teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling on vegetables
2 1/2 cups Basmati rice
4 cups Water
3 tablespoons oil
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
*You can use any vegetables you would like for this dish. Some other options are cauliflower, mushrooms, or peppers.