Maqlooba (Rice with Fried Vegetables and Chicken) Recipe
3 cups Sunwhite Basmati/long grain rice, rinsed and drained
1 whole chicken (2 kgs, cut into 6-8 pieces)
6 cups water
2 cups vegetable/canola oil
1 large eggplant, cut into cubes
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup almonds, toasted
2 sticks cinnamon
2 sticks saffron
2 tablespoons allspice
Spices: turmeric, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, salt and pepper (1 teaspoon of each, ground)
Add 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the chicken till it is browned on both sides then add the spices and 3 cups of water to cover the chicken and keep cooking until boiling. Reduce the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes then set the chicken aside.
In a large pot, add 1 cup of oil and fry the eggplant cubes for 3 to 4 minutes until they become golden then place them on a paper towel to drain and repeat the same with the cauliflower florets.
In the previous saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat for 2 minutes then add the onions and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. After that, add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes then turn off the heat and cover.
In a bowl, stir in the rice along with the spices and mix well then add it to the chicken pot over medium heat along with the fried eggplant and cauliflower. Let the rice be on top and pour 3 cups of water till the rice is covered. Bring the mix to a boil then reduce the heat and cover.
After 8 to 10 minutes, add two tablespoons of oil and keep simmering for about 20 minutes until rice is cooked and the water runs dry then turn off the heat and let the pot rest aside.
After about 10 minutes, put a large plate on top of the pot and flip it over the plate carefully.
Garnish with the toasted nuts and serve with yogurt and salad.