Tag Archives: rice

Maqluba – ‘Upside Down’ Chicken

Maqluba is a traditional Middle Eastern dish.


3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 whole (cut up) chicken
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Baharat Spice Blend
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium eggplant, sliced and salted
1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets
1-1/2 Cups rice
3 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


In a heavy skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil on a medium-high burner. Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring frequently, until they are softened and almost translucent, about 10 min. Add chicken pieces to the onion pan, and sprinkle liberally with salt and spices. Brown the meat on both sides.

Meanwhile, prepare a deep pot or Dutch oven, sprinkling a few tablespoons of rice on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the browned chicken pieces and sauteed onions to this pot, on top of the thin layer of rice.

Back in the fry/saute pan, brown the sliced eggplant. Transfer eggplant to the chicken pot, and then likewise, saute the cauliflower in the frying pan, and put on top of the chicken and eggplant in the Dutch oven.

Cover mixture with rest of the rice, then pour broth over the top, and season dish with salt and pepper. Cover the pot with its lid, and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from stove and allow dish to cool for about 10 minutes before lifting the lid. (It will smell fantastic, even with the lid on).

Remove the lid from the Dutch oven; place a large serving plate squarely on top of the pot and turn the chicken and rice upside down onto the serving dish. Remove upside-down (and now empty) pot. Garnish chicken and rice with toasted pine nuts and freshly-chopped cilantro.

Makes six servings

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Spicy Ground Beef and Baharat


Spice Paste Ingredients:
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Caraway Seed
1 tsp Turmeric

Main Dish Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup finely-minced onion
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp finely-minced fresh ginger
1-1/4 lb lean ground beef
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp Baharat Spice Blend
2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Enough couscous, rice, or quinoa to make 4 – 6 generous servings
Greek yogurt (optional)


Prepare the couscous (or rice, quinoa or other grain) according to package directions. Make a spice paste by mixing together the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cardamom, ground caraway, and ground turmeric with enough water to make a paste and set aside.

In a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. When oil is near-sizzling, add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute, lowering heat to medium and stirring intermittently, until the onions soften start to soften, about 8 min. Add the spice paste mixture and continue cooking 2 – 3 minutes more, until fragrant. Transfer the spiced, sauteed onions to a bowl. Leave any spice remnants in the frying pan to flavor the ground beef.

Turn the burner back up to medium-high, and add the ground beef. Cook the meat, breaking it into crumbly bits with the spatula, until the meat is cooked through and nicely browned. Lower the heat to medium and add the canned tomatoes, and their juice, to the beef. Stir to combine, and allow mixture to simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are well-softened.

Stir in the Baharat spice blend and the onion mixture you set aside earlier and cook 2-3 minutes more over medium-low heat. Remove pan from the stove and add the chopped fresh cilantro and mint. Toss to combine.

Serve the spicy meat immediately over couscous, brown rice, quinoa or other grain. Top with a little Greek yogurt if you need a little “cooling” element to go with your warm spiced dish.

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Baharat-Scented Rice


2 green onions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 tsp Baharat
1/2 carrot, grated
Kosher Salt to taste


In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally until onions are becoming translucent, about 10 min. Add the brown rice and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the rice is lightly golden. Add the water and baharat, and turn heat up to high to bring water to a boil. Stir once, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook rice mixture, covered, for about 45 – 50 minutes, or until rice is tender. Ten minutes before the cooking time is done, stir in the grated carrot and season with a little salt. Remove saucepan from heat, and allow dish to sit, covered, for about 5 additional minutes so that remaining liquid is absorbed. Serve immediately.

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Koshari, a grain + pasta vegetable dish, topped with a spicy tomato sauce and sauteed onions, is sometimes referred to as “Egypt’s national dish.”


2 Cups macaroni or other pasta
1 Cup green lentils
1 clove of garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup medium grain brown rice
2-1/2 Cups water (reduce to 2 Cups water if using white rice)
salt to taste
1 – 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, pureed (you can also use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce)
2 tsp Baharat
1 Tbsp Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
salt, to taste

Topping Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 onions, thinly sliced


First, make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and garlic and onion have softened. Add the pureed tomatoes, Baharat, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook all the other ingredients: Cook macaroni (or other pasta) according to the package instructions, until the noodles are al dente. In another pan, combine lentils with 2 Cups water, garlic, cumin and bay leaf in a saucepan over high heat. Bring lentil pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer,covered, until lentils are tender. Strain any excess water not absorbed by the lentils, and discard chunk of garlic and the bay leaf. Add salt to taste and stir to combine salt with lentil mixture. At the same time, make the rice. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add brown rice and toast for 1 minute. Add water and salt to oil and rice, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 – 30 minutes, or until rice is done.

Make the topping by heating another 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and fry until the onions are well-browned.

Now, assemble the meal: In a large serving bowl, combine the prepared rice, lentils, macaroni and chickpeas. Toss to combine. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve. To serve, put a generous serving of the koshari onto a plate or bowl. Top with a ladle of the spiced tomato sauce, and grnish with the carmelized onions.

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Garlic Shrimp and Lemon Parsley Rice


3/4 Cup rice
1-1/2 Cups boiling, salted water
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
1 tsp grated Lemon Peel
Kosher Salt, freshly-ground White Peppercorns
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
2 Pequin Chiles
3/4 lb large, raw shrimp, still in their shells


Combine rice and water in a 2 quart, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, and reduce heat to medium low; allow rice to simmer, covered, 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley, lemon peel, salt and pepper to taste. Set pan aside, but keep covered.

Meanwhile, in a heavy dutch oven or skillet, combine butter, garlic, lemon slices, oregano, bay leaf, pequin peppers, 1/2 tsp salt, and the shrimp. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat; butter will melt and the spices and shrimp will cook. Stir frequently, until shrimp turn pink and are just cooked through, about 5 min. If golden butter starts to turn brown, reduce heat to medium.

Divide rice among two plates. Top each serving with half the sauteed shrimp. Spoon garlicky-pepper-butter sauce over the shrimp and rice. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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