This recipe for Magloubeh was recommended by my friend Lana from Jordan. And the original recipe comes from chef Yasmina Buhassan. I watched her video on Instagram. Then wrote my own instructions, which I followed to make the dish. Also, I halved the recipe and it still made enough for about 10 people!
The dish is filled with spices and the aromas, even when frying vegetables, fills the kitchen. That definitely reminded me of eating in Jordan, especially in the desert where we ate a lot of spiced lamb! Most of the ingredients were easy to find at the normal supermarket except for Egyptian or American rice. For those two, I had to substitute with different types of rice. In fact, I have never tried the traditional dish so am not sure how this would differ.
There are many layers in the rice and it looks impressive when you tip it out of the pot onto a serving dish. Unfortunately, I made a bit of a mess because my dish was not quite large or deep enough.
500g lamb meat cubes
2 small eggplants, cut into thick slices
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cumin
oil for frying
1 small onion, sliced into rounds
1/2 garlic head, peeled and with cloves cut in half lengthwise
1 potato, peeled and cut into round slices
1 tomato, cut into round slices
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice (I used a blend of cumin, oregano and chili)
1 c. American medium grain rice or similar (I used long-grain rice)
1/2 c. Egyptian short grain rice or similar (I used Japanese rice)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
Pine nuts and/or almonds, toasted
In a medium sized pot over high heat, boil the lamb cubes in water then reserve the broth. Remove the foam from the top of the broth so it is clear. Then set aside.
Wash and then soak the rice in water for at least 20 minutes. Set aside.
In a small pot, add at least 2 inches of oil. First, deep fry the aubergine with a pinch of nutmeg. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Next, deep fry the cauliflower with a pinch of cumin. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
In a large stock pot, add the 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Then add the cooked meat and a bit more oil. Cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes and potatoes under the meat and onions. Finally, add the cauliflower in the middle and the eggplants around the side.
Reheat the meat broth on the side until it is simmering. Drain the rice and then mix in all of the spices. Next, add the rice on top and spread evenly. Then pour in the reheated broth until it covers the broth. It should cover the rice by at least an inch, otherwise top up with water. Bring to a boil and then wait for the stock to start to evaporate to the level of the rice. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for at least 25 minutes. If the rice is not cooked yet, add 1/2 cup of hot water evenly over the top, cover, and cook for a further 10 minutes or so. When the rice is cooked, remove from heat.
Put a large plated on top of the pot. Then turn the pot upside down quickly onto the large plate and tap it to release most of the contents. If some sticks on the bottom, then just spoon that onto the top. Sprinkle with toasted pines nuts and/or almonds. Serve with fresh cucumber and tomato salad and some yoghurt sauce. I recommend to use a very large platter with some depth as otherwise the contents may spill over.
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