Rich in memories for me this simple satisfying dish has been at the top of our menu since we opened the restaurant in 2001. As a child growing up in the Middle East our Palestinian cook Mounaira would make us Makloub on winter days where a very filling piping hot spicy dish was just what me and my brothers needed to calm us down and send us into a post meal siesta almost immediately. This variation is the Morroccan one and can be made using either beef or lamb.
You will need:
2 large onions finely chopped
500g. minced lamb or beef
2 medium aubergines
1 large fresh tomato skinned & chopped
Salt & pepper
1 mug of long grain rice
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the sauce:
Yoghurt (Greek style and normal)
Cut the aubergines into 2cm. thick slices with skin on, salt thoroughly until the bitter juice runs out then wash and drain well. Fry in a good glug of the oil until well browned, remove from oil and pat dry on kitchen paper. Fry the onions in the remaining oil until golden then add the lamb and spices until well browned. Season to taste. Add the tomato and cook for a further 10 mins. Add the rice slowly on top without stirring and cover with 2 ½ mugs of water. Simmer gently for about an hour until the water has been absorbed.
Meanwhile lightly oil a warmed deep curved sided serving dish and line with the aubergines. Carefully spoon in the rice mixture and press down firmly. To serve carefully turn the serving dish upside down on to a large hot serving plate and hopefully you will have a perfectly formed mound of aubergines covering the rice mixture. Top with a sprinkling of pine nuts and serve with a yoghurt sauce (1 pot of greek style yoghurt, 1 pot of normal yoghurt, ¼ clove of garlic crushed, fresh mint finely chopped, half a cucumber finely chopped, a screw of pepper and a spoon of tahini if you have it).