Maqlobeh is a very special lamb dish that I make for my kids and for VIP’s. Maqlobeh is a Middle Eastern dish, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria all have their own version of Maqlobeh. Maqlobeh is a lamb & rice dish that literally means upside down because the meat is cooked on the bottom and the whole pot is turned upside down to show the meat on top.
Some 20 years ago I had a neighbor that made Maqlobeh and I loved her recipe, but , I had developed my own way of making this dish and I made it healthier since most recipes calls for frying the vegetables.
I will share my version of this delicious Maqlobeh recipe, I do hope you make it for your family and friends.
Ingredients to cook the lamb:
1/2 shoulder of lamb (3-5 lbs) cut into chunks
3 cups of rice (long grain)
1 cinnamon stick & 2 bay leaves
1 tbs of curry powder & 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 package of Sazon Goya with saffron
2 large onions (1 diced) (1 in stock)
5-6 cloves of garlic
Salt & black pepper to taste (since will be salting as we cook)
In a large pot, add in the meat and cover with water, let it come to a boil and then discard all the water and wash the meat. On a medium heat and in a clean stock pot, add back the meat, then add one onion, cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, and all the spices, cover with water and cook on a medium heat for half an hour, then simmer on low heat another hour or so until the meat is tender.
For the vegetables:
1 head of cauliflower, cut up into large florets
2 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch thick
4 medium size potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Meanwhile, on a sheet tray, add in a little olive oil or spray it with oil, grill all your vegetables in a 375 oven until lightly browned about 35-45 minutes. Remember, we don’t want to fully cook the vegetables, because it’s going to be added to Maqlobeh to finish cooking.
For the rice:
3 cups of rice
1/4 cup vermicelli
3 tbs of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of slivered almonds toasted
Drained the rice well, set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, saute the vermicelli with a little butter until browned and then add to the rice.
When the noodles are browned, add it to the rice, add in salt and black pepper.
Time to assemble the maqlobeh.
Bring a large and wide pot, add in the diced onion with the diced cloves of garlic and saute in a little butter about 5-10 minutes when done, remove the cooked meat from the stock pot and spread it to the bottom of the pot. Top all your vegetables by layering them on the meat. Add in the rice and make sure all the rice is spread on the vegetables. Slowly add in the stock that the meat cooked in to cover the rice.
Cook on a low heat and simmer until the rice is fully cooked.
Turn the maqlobeh on a large serving tray, make sure the tray will hold the maqlobeh fully and the tray has edges. Top with toasted almonds and serve.