Reliving the Maqluba (Maqlooba) Dream – The Most Mouthwatering Arab Dish

重溫「瑪格露巴」夢 / Reliving the Famous Arab Dish-Maqluba (Maqlooba) Dream

(Scroll down for English version / 英文版向下看)
(英譯:殘編 / translation by Tanya)

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倘若你在阿拉伯世界居住得夠久,腦海裡會充滿香料的記憶,尤其是做薰香水和甜點用的丁香、煮飯用的番紅花和薑黃、紅茶裡加的肉桂或薄荷。別小看這種五官的記憶,儘管數十載過去了,你的鼻子、眼睛、嘴吧都還難敵這些香料的誘惑力。我常想阿拉伯人親戚之間關係綿密、朋友之情真誠純淨,是否與這些每日瀰漫在他們廚房裡的食物香氣有關?它們會讓人有歸屬感,讓曾經一同享用過香料食物的親人、朋友彼此牢牢牽繫著,沒有責備,只有感恩和思念。

English version / 英文版:
If you’ve spent enough time in the Arab world, your memories will be filled with spices and scents like cloves used for perfumes and desserts, saffron and turmeric used for cooking, and cinnamon and mint used to brew tea. Don’t underestimate these memories. Even after decades, your five senses will continue to crave for them. I believe that the close and sincere relationships between Arab families and friends are somewhat related to the smell of food that permeates their kitchens every day. They provide a sense of belonging, creating an unbreakable bond between those who’ve shared these spices and food together and reminding them to be grateful for the meals and memories you’ve once shared.

  • 好客的阿拉伯人習俗 /Arab’s Generous Hospitality

回到台灣我們三不五時都會聽到阿拉伯料理的呼喚,曾一度有阿拉伯友人經常邀請我們到家裡作客,女主人精通阿拉伯各國名菜料理,我們當時人在福中不知福,受寵得近乎任性,屢次想吃阿拉伯菜只需一通電話。兩三年前他們返國了,我們才感覺非常的失落,香料的記憶帶動我們懷念這一個真誠好客的家庭。而這些記憶裡的芬芳也屢屢讓我陷入莫名的感傷,真情難覓,它是否僅存在沙漠裡?

English version / 英文版:
After returning to Taiwan, we can’t get Arab cuisine out of our minds. We had Arab friends who often invited us over to their homes to dine. They’d welcome us with various famous Arab dishes. To enjoy all these homemade authentic Middle Eastern cuisines was just one phone call away. We were lost when they left Taiwan and returned to their home country a few years back. We miss the spices, the hospitality, and the food. These memories make me fall into inexplicable sentimentality.

  • 熱情的阿拉伯友人,一手抱新生兒、一手拿食物「款待主人」/ A Blessed NYE with Homemade Arab Food and a Beautiful Mixed Baby

lebel(5j/2j/那就0M焗烤緒莉雅

今年跨年我們年輕的阿拉伯朋友帶著她的新生兒來訪,我惡習難改,再度任性的利用她的阿拉伯熱誠,讓客人大包小包的帶著阿拉伯料理來「款待主人」。最令人興奮的是她煮了我們最愛吃的巴勒斯坦名菜–「瑪格露巴】。

。我們深知阿拉伯人的禮節慷慨必定會準備超出吃飯人數一倍以上的量,所以幾乎什麼都不必準備,就在家裡等著吃。

English version / 英文版:
This year, as we kissed the shitty Year 2020 goodbye, we had a blessed New Year’s Eve with authentic homemade Arab cuisine and a beautiful mixed newborn baby brought to our home by our young Arab friends. I accepted their offer to host a potluck at home; and shamefully, knowing Arab customs, this host took advantage of the Arab’s enthusiasm and generosity and just sat on our asses and shared no contribution to the event.
The most exciting dishes we looked forward to was our favorite Palestinian dishes-“Maqluba” and “Leben (yogurt)”.

眼見她一手抱著娃娃,一手提著食物,冷血的我們儘管心中愧疚,卻決定將歉意拋在腦後,留給未來。因為眼前看到的盡是那久違的「瑪格露巴」。你若曾經品嚐過,也必定能憐憫我的無情。

English version / 英文版:
A young mom showing up with a newborn in one hand and a whole bag of homemade food in the other made us look cold-hearted, but the smell of Arab spices threw our guilty conscience away. If you’ve had Maqluba before, I’m sure you’d understand.

  • 瑪格露巴 -「顛覆」想象的一道名菜 / Maqluba – The Famous “Upside-down” Dish

瑪格露巴」(maqlubah)的阿拉伯語來自q-l-b詞根,其動詞qalaba意義是「翻轉、上下顛倒」,maqlubah是被動名詞,意思是「上下顛倒的」。這道菜因為製作的最後程序要將鍋子裡的食物翻倒在盤子上而得名。
「瑪格露巴」製作過程費時、費力,想要煮得好吃除了食材、香料、火候、時間拿捏得當之外,還要有耐心久待廚房。因為這道菜裡面包含所有一餐所需的營養:蔬菜、雞肉或紅肉、米飯、乾果。蔬菜任你選,他們偏好馬鈴薯、茄子、白花椰、番茄。我們朋友用的是馬鈴薯、茄子、青椒、番茄、紅蘿蔔。米飯要經過浸泡並加入香料(一般使用七香),肉塊或肉片要先炒過,若用雞腿則需先在鍋子裡煎過上色再用水煮軟。

English version / 英文版:
The Arabic word “maqluba” literally translates to “upside-down” in English. The dish gets its name from the final step of making it, which involves turning the dish upside down in the pot and onto the plate.
Making “Maqluba” is time-consuming and involves a lot of work. Cooking to perfection involves many ingredients, spices, heat, and patience. One dish alone contains all the nutrients needed for a full meal: vegetables, chicken or red meat, rice, and nuts. Chefs can choose their preferred veggies. The most commonly used vegetables in the Arabs include potatoes, eggplant, white cauliflower, and tomatoes. Our NYE maqluba consisted of potatoes, eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.
Our Syrian friend cooked the chicken with onion first, then placed them in a pot with some deep-fried carrots, green pepper, eggplants, and potatoes. Her final step was adding rice and water for a final cook.

    • 煮瑪格露巴最重要的步驟 / Most Crucial Step in Making Maqluba

下一步驟最重要,是否能成功都得看這個擺食材的步驟囉!若是煮給少數人吃,瑪格露巴製作可以簡化,但擺鍋仍很重要,利用上述各色蔬菜擺出很美的顏色,能讓人垂涎三尺。我曾經很會做這道菜,只可惜二十年不曾再試,不敢在這裡吹牛,但方法總是記得的:在不沾鍋裡先擺一些番茄片,再把炸煮過的雞腿放在鍋底,其次就是把切成長片、炸過的茄子擺在鍋邊,中間夾雜炸過的紅蘿蔔,雞腿上面擺一層米飯、一層炸過的白花椰菜,再擺一層米。你也可以多放幾層自己喜歡的青菜,重點在米飯烹煮時要確定能煮熟。換言之,你放的高湯或水必須恰到好處。煮熟後用大盤子置於鍋子上面翻倒過來,你會看到盤子最上層是雞腿或紅肉,旁邊是五顏六色的蔬菜。上桌之前在最上面撒上腰果或松子。超好拍照打卡阿拉伯名菜瑪格露巴」就會呈現在眼前。

English version / 英文版:
Layering is the most crucial step in making maqluba. The process can be simplified when preparing for a smaller party; however, the way you place the ingredients is just as important. With proper placement, your dish will result in a colorful mouthwatering presentation. Maqluba used to be my signature, but after 20 years, I dare not brag anymore. I still remember my secret recipe, though: tomato slices are placed in the pot first, then the deep-fried chicken drumsticks. Place a layer of deep-fried, sliced eggplants and carrots on the inner side of the pot, a layer of rice on top of the chicken legs, a layer of fried white cauliflower, and a layer of rice. You can also put a few more layers of green vegetables you like, and the key point is to make sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly. The water added must be just right. After cooking, place a large plate on top of the pot and turn it over. The final presentation will end up with the meat on the top layer on a bed of rice and colorful vegetables. Sprinkle cashews or pine nuts on top before serving. Voila! There goes your super instagrammable and photo-worthy famous Arab dish “Maqluba“!

下一篇請看我在事隔二十年後自製的酸奶是否像我敘利亞美女朋友做的一樣可口喔!

In my next article, I will be challenging myself to make Leben (homemade yogurt, Middle Eastern style) after 20 years, stay tuned!

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