This delicious classic can also be cooked with cauliflower and meat, or totally vegetarian with sliced carrots and squash.
Slice a large eggplant into generous wheels. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
Place tray in a preheated oven and roast for about 30 minutes at 425°F, turning the slices over once midway until slightly roasted.
Meanwhile, sauté a small chopped onion in olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. When the onion is cooked, add 1 lb. of stewing beef, chicken, or lamb chunks and sauté the meat.
Add the turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper (to taste).
Add to the meat 2-2 ½ c. broth and cook. If you’re using a pressure cooker, 30 min, but in a regular pot, cook for one hour or until the meat is tender.
Add the slices of roasted eggplants on top of the cooked meat.
Add 2 cups of rice.
Pour 2 cups of water or broth and place a dish on top of the rice so the layers don’t move around when boiling.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and take off the dish that was covering the rice.
Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Switch off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes before removing the lid.
To serve, first, use a plate or a small inverted pot lid to squeeze down the rice and compress it. Then place a large serving platter with an elevated edge on top of the pot and quickly invert the pot. With a wooden spoon, bang on the upside-down pot to release the ma’loubeh before removing the pot to reveal a rice cake with the meat and eggplant on top.
Sprinkle roasted pinenuts and sliced almonds on the mound.
Serve with yogurt, cucumber and dried mint salad (like a tzatziki salad).
1 large eggplant
1 lb. stewing beef, cut up chicken breast, or lamb chunks
1 small chopped onion
1 tsp. turmeric, cinnamon, allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups rice
2-4 cups chicken or beef broth
Crumbled dried mint leaves