Maqluba

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (2 pounds; whole chicken cut into pieces)
  • Onions (2 onions; one finely chopped and the second one cut into circles)
  • Green Bell Pepper (1; chopped)
  • Garlic (1 tablespoon; minced)
  • Green onions (2-3; diced)
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Eggplant (1)
  • Tomato (1; cut into circles)
  • Cauliflower (cut the florets in half)
  • Potatoes (1-2 medium size potatoes; sliced into disk)
  • Rice (2-3 cups; washed and strained)
  • Tomato paste (5 ounces)
  • All Spice
  • Turmeric Powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Oil (Vegetable/Canola)

Directions:

Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan and then add one finely chopped onion along with the chopped green bell pepper, minced garlic and season it with salt and give it all a mix. Cook till the onions have a light brown shade.

Add the chicken into the pan and season it with salt and pepper and two teaspoon of all spice. Cook the chicken on all sides till they lose their pink shade. Add water to cover the chicken and also add the chopped green onions. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat.

Cut the eggplants on four sides lengthwise in such a way that when you cut them width wise you get close to a square shape. Do not discard the skin we will fry it later. Cut them width wise into thick pieces. For the red bell pepper, cut it into half and remove the seeds; then cut each half into three pieces lengthwise and then cut them in half. You basically end up with 12 pieces of red bell pepper.

In a frying pan, add some oil and once the oil is hot add the eggplant chunks and fry them on both sides till they have a golden brown shade. Once cooked move it over to a plate lined with paper towel to soak in any excess oil.

Once the chicken is cooked remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set it aside. Check for seasoning in the water and add more salt if required and then add the rice into the pot. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes on medium heat or until al dente.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes and fry them till they have a golden brown shade and move it over to the plate. Repeat the process with cauliflower, the red bell pepper, onions and then fry the eggplant skin that you trimmed off in the beginning. And finally add the tomato, don’t cook them for too long you just want a slight browning on them and then set it aside.

Season all the vegetables with salt and pepper while they are still warm.

In the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil and then add the tomato paste and season it with salt and pepper and a pinch of all spice and add a little bit of water and give it a mix. You don’t want it to be too watery. Cook for a minute and set it aside.

Once the rice is cooked take it off the heat and strain any excess liquid into a bowl and divide it into two portions. In one half of the rice add the prepared tomato paste and give it good mix making sure the rice is evenly coated with the paste.

The second portion of the rice, add the turmeric powder and give it a mix.

Now for the assembly use a dutch oven or any deep pot. First, layer the pot with the eggplant skin, the purple side down and then layer in some of the fried potatoes. Then add the chicken pieces along with cauliflower in such a way that you fill in any gaps and then add the red bell pepper and then press down a little bit. Then add the red rice and press it down. Now layer the rice with the tomatoes, onions and the eggplants and then add the yellow rice and press it down a little. Add any leftover chicken stock into the pan; if you didn’t have any add 1/4 cup of chicken stock/water in and cover the pan and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

To serve, you need a large flat plate to which you have to flip the pan in such a way the whole thing is flipped upside down.

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