Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

A warm and healthy Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie loaded with so many beautiful flavors….where do I start? The beautiful beefy filling? The crispy Parmesan cheesy top? Or the creamy layers of pumpkin?

This recipe has been handed down to me by my one and only mother. I may only ever change a couple things, but really, this is perfection.

The beef mixture inside this Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is like beast mode a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator of Shepherd’s Pie…or Cottage Pie. Whichever one rocks your socks. So much happening it may not be like your normal average Shepherd’s Pie, but since when are we normal anyway?

One slice of this mountain of glory and you’ll be so full and fulfilled in every way possible, you won’t want a nothing else after it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg | 2lbs butternut or kent pumpkin , washed, peeled seeded and cubed (I usually use 1/2 a kent pumpkin)
  • 3 large potatoes , washed, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat butter/spread of choice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red capsicum/bell pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 500 g | 1lbs ground/mince extra lean beef
  • 2 ripe tomatoes , diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • salt to season
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock (I use Vegeta)
  • 2 tablespoons gravy powder , whisked in 1/4 cup boiling water (until free of lumps): or you can substitute the gravy
  • powder with cornflour/corn starch.
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves , washed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C | 400F. Combine pumpkin and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Alternatively, microwave or steam them until soft. Drain well, add the butter/spread and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large pan over medium – high heat. Add onion, carrots and capsicum, and cook stirring for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add beef and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and vegetable stock powder, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add gravy powder or cornflour/corn starch mixture. Cook stirring to combine all ingredients together until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
  3. Evenly spread half the pumpkin/potato mash into a large oven proof baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over the top, and spread remaining pumpkin mash over the top of the beef.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).
Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
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LITHUANIAN VEGETABLE SALAD (DARZOVIU MISRAINE)

LITHUANIAN VEGETABLE SALAD (DARZOVIU MISRAINE)

 

Lithuanian vegetable dish is incredibly like a salad. It’s one amongst the simplest salad’s of its kind, we’ve had. it’s known as darzoviu misraine the manner we tend to created it or it’s referred to as balta misraine if you are doing not embody the beets. You’ll add or calculate vegetables consistent with your style, however, the 2 ingredients that have to be enclosed ar cream and salt.

This Lithuanian vegetable salad dish is often served at temperature or cold aboard any range of main dishes. We tend to enjoyed it with kugela and cabbage rolls as a part of our Lithuanian feast. Enjoy!


Click here Lithuanian vegetable salad recipes

INGREDIENTS

2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced, about 2 cups
1 medium beet, roasted, peeled and diced, about ½ cup
1 carrots, peeled, cooked and diced, about ½ cup
½ cup peas, cooked
1 small onion, chopped
1 small pickle, finely chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1⁄4 cup minced fresh dill
½ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the vegetables first, the potatoes, beets,carrots and peas but make sure to just cook until tender, you don’t want to overcook any of them.
2. Once cool enough to handle, chop the potato, carrots and beets into bite size pieces.
3. All vegetables should be at room temperature when you start mixing them together.
4. Place vegetables, egg and pickle in a large bowl.
5. Sprinkle half the salt and half the dill on the vegetables.
6. Add some freshly ground pepper.
7. Add half the sour cream and stir carefully, taking care not to mash the vegetables.
8. Repeat with remaining salt, pepper, and sour cream.
9. Serve cold or at room temperature.

LITHUANIAN VEGETABLE SALAD (DARZOVIU MISRAINE)
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LITHUANIAN VEGETABLE SALAD (DARZOVIU MISRAINE)
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Torta – Cake, Pie, Pastry, Sandwich, Tapas, or Omelette?

What exactly is a “Torta”?  It is a cake, pie, pastry, sandwich, Tapas, or omelette?  I know it can get confusing.  The quick answer is all of the above!  What?  How can that be? Well it really depends on where you are and what language you’re speaking.

“Torta” is a word derived from latin and means different things is different languages.  In Mexico “Torta” refers to a sandwich; in Italy and Portugal it refers to a cake, pie, or pastry;  in Spain it can be a cake or pie, or even a Tapas; in the Philippines it’s an omelette.  Yup definitely confusing.

tortaFor today’s recipe I’ll be using the Filipino definition of Torta, we’ll be making an omelette.

In the Philippines torta refers to an omelette that can be filled with meat, potatoes, or eggplants.  It’s made to look sort of like a cake, not the folded omelettes you normally see on the breakfast menus at IHOP or Denny’s.

Filipinos eat torta for any meal, usually with steamed white rice.  Growing up we had it for dinner.  It’s a basic Filipino comfort food which I make for my family all the time.  It’s simple and fast.

Tortas can be made with ground beef or pork or eggplants, but we prefer it with just potatoes and onions.  I serve it on meatless Monday’s!  Another family favorite is Torta Talong (Eggplant Omelette).

Today I’m going to share my favorite Torta recipe.  I love it with rice and dip it in ketchup.  Try it, you might just like it!

A quick tip, use a small frying pan to make this torta so you can flip it over without breaking it.

Torta – Filipino Potato Omelette

Ingredients:

2 large potatoes – diced

1 small onion – minced

1/2 tsp. garlic – minced

5 Large Eggs – beaten

Salt & Pepper to taste

Oil for frying

Directions:

Heat about 2 Tbs. of oil

Add diced potatoes and saute until they start to turn golden brown and soften

Add onions, saute until onion are translucent

Add garlic, saute until the potatoes are cooked – stir constantly to keep the potatoes from burning and sticking to the pan, add another Tbs. of oil if needed – don’t let the pan run out of oil

Season with salt & pepper to taste

Add more oil if needed,  about another Tbs.

When potatoes are cooked pour beaten eggs into pan, make sure the beaten eggs spread out evenly in the pan and touch the pan edge.

Cook about 3-4 minutes or until the eggs start to dry up

Carefully flip your torta over and cook another 2-3 minutes or until done

TortaSlide onto serving dish and slice into wedges.

Serve hot with your choice of starch and condiments.

 

 

 

 

 

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Torta - Filipino Potato Omelette
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Torta - Filipino Potato Omelette
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Heat about 2 Tbs. of oil 
  2. Add diced potatoes and saute until they start to turn golden brown and soften
  3. Add onions, saute until onion are translucent
  4. Add garlic, saute until the potatoes are cooked - stir constantly to keep the potatoes from burning and sticking to the pan, add another Tbs. of oil if needed - don't let the pan run out of oil 
  5. Season with salt & pepper to taste Add more oil if needed,  about another Tbs. 
  6. When potatoes are cooked pour beaten eggs into pan, make sure the beaten eggs spread out evenly in the pan and touch the pan edge.
  7. Cook about 3-4 minutes or until the eggs start to dry up 
  8. Carefully flip your torta over and cook another 2-3 minutes or until done
  9. Slide onto serving dish and slice into wedges. Serve hot with your choice of starch and condiments.
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Ginataang Manok (Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk) Filipino Recipe!

Ginataang Manok (Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk) Filipino Recipe!

Ginataang Manok also known as chicken stewed in coconut milk has it’s different kinds of versions but this Filipino signature dish is commonly flavored with ginger and fresh coconut milk. Here in Philippines, a traditional approach requires a native hen that usually grown in the yards, in forests or in mountains because it’s much tastier compared to grocery store chickens and adds more flavor to the dish.

Any kind of Filipino dish that has gata (coconut milk) as a main ingredient is called “Ginataan”. In tropical Countries like my home town Philippines, coconuts are common and abundant so we don’t have a problem processing amazing and fresh coconut milk straight from our coconut trees. This is a very common homemade dish and is usually prepared for lunch or dinner with steamed rice.

This is my version of Ginataang Manok (chicken stewed in coconut milk) Filipino Recipe! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 pc.  whole chicken, cut into serving sizes

1 can coconut milk (14 oz.)

2 pcs. medium potatoes, peeled, quartered

5 pcs. thai chili peppers, stemmed, chopped

½ pc. green bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced into strips

½ pc. red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced into strips

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1 pc. onion, peeled, sliced thinly

1 tbsp. fish sauce

½ cup water

¼ cup cooking oil

1 tsp. salt or salt to taste

¼ tsp. pepper or pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a wide skillet over medium heat then add the potatoes and cook, until color turns lightly browned.

Remove the potatoes from pan and drain, preferably on paper towels.

Then add the bell peppers and cook, stir frequently, for 20-30 seconds, remove and drain on paper towels.

Remove excess oil from pan and leave about 2 tablespoons.

Then sauté garlic and onions. Add the chicken and cook, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add fish sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk and the chili peppers, bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover, and continue to cook for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced.

Add the potatoes and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until potatoes are tender and sauce is thickened.

Add the bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve while it’s hot.

Share with your family and friends.Enjoy!

Ginataang Manok (Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk) Filipino Recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 10 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
30 mins. 40 mins.
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 10 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
30 mins. 40 mins.
Ginataang Manok (Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk) Filipino Recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 10 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
30 mins. 40 mins.
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 10 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
30 mins. 40 mins.
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a wide skillet over medium heat then add the potatoes and cook, until color turns lightly browned.
  2. Remove the potatoes from pan and drain, preferably on paper towels.
  3. Then add the bell peppers and cook, stir frequently, for 20-30 seconds, remove and drain on paper towels.
  4. Remove excess oil from pan and leave about 2 tablespoons.
  5. Then sauté garlic and onions. Add the chicken and cook, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Add fish sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add coconut milk and the chili peppers, bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover, and continue to cook for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced.
  8. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until potatoes are tender and sauce is thickened.
  9. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve while it’s hot.
  11. Share with your family and friends.Enjoy!
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