Sunday, 21 October 2012

Malooba or Maklooba

Malooba or Maklooba

This is an authentic Arabic recipe. This is mostly cooked in Egypt, Jordon and all other Mediterranean countries. The dish is slightly elaborate, because of it's long list of ingredients and also the time taken. But if you care to cook this wonderful dish created Rice, Chicken, Cauliflower, potato and different spices, you with be rewarded with a dish so unique in flavours and aroma that you would love to prepare it time and again. This dish is said to have been a favourite dish of the Pharaohs .. who knows, may be so... but the aromas of this are sure to transport you to the bygone eras.

Preparation Time :  1 hours
Cooking Time      :  1 1/2 hours
Difficulty              :  Medium
Serves                  :  6

Ingredients :

  • 1 whole Chicken, weighing around 1 1/2 kilos, cut into pieces
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 medium Onion, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons ground Allspice/Kabab Chini
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom(Green Cardamom)
  • 3 whole Cardamom seeds (Black Cardamom)
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Few Strands of Saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons ground Allspice
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 large Potato, sliced into rounds1
  • 1 large head Cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1 large Eggplant, peeled, cubed, and salted; make sure to place in a colander so water can drain
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, diced
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Toasted pine nuts, for garnish

  • Method :

       1) Place chicken in a large pot with 6 cups water, onion, 2 tablespoons allspice, ground cardamom, cardamom seeds, whole cloves salt, paper corn and bay leaves.

       2) Bring to a boil, and cook until chicken is tender, about 40 minutes.

       3) Soak the rice in water while waiting for the chicken to cook. And also soak saffron strands in 1/4 cup of warm water.

       4) When the chicken is almost done, drain the water off, and stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of allspice.

       5) Remove chicken, strain and reserve broth.

       6)  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

       7) Fry the potatoes and cauliflower in the hot oil until browned. They do not need to fully cooked. Next fry the eggplants and drain on a paper lined plate.

       8) In a separate pot with a thick bottom, Add a bit of oil, add onions and sweat them. Then layer fried potatoes on the bottom. This is done so that the rice will not stick to the bottom of the pan.

       9) Add the cauliflower, eggplants and tomatoes, and sprinkle a handful of rice over the vegetables.

      10) Remove the bones from the chicken and place the chicken in the pot.

      11) Cover with the rest of the rice. Pour Soaked Saffron from the top.

      12) Pour in the reserved broth until it reaches a level about 1/2 inch above the level of the rice.

      13) Cover the pot, and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour, until rice is tender.

      14) When the liquid has absorbed, have a large round tray ready. Let the cooked dish stand for 10 minutes.

      15) Uncover the pot, and place the tray over the top. Invert so that the pan is upside down on top of the tray. Let stand for 5 minutes like this, then slowly remove the pot to let the food fall onto the tray.

      16) Serve the dish hot with Fatoosh salad and bowl full of Greek yogurt, garnished with roasted Pine nuts.


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