A Palestinian savoury upside-down rice cake ~ a whole meal in a single dish
2 medium aubergines, sliced and sprinkled with salt
1 cup basmathi rice
6 boneless chicken thighs
1 large onion, sliced lengthways
1 tsp black peppercorn
2 bay leaves
oil, for frying
1 medium cauliflower, divided into large florets
350g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp baharat spice mix
Wash rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat up a large saucepan and sear the chicken pieces until golden brown.
Add the onion, peppercorns, bay leaves and 2 cups of water.
Bring to boil, then cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the stock and set it aside.
Heat up a casserole dish over a medium-high heat.
Once it starts to bubble, fry the cauliflower florets until golden brown. Place them onto kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
Pat dry the aubergine slices with kitchen towel and fry them similarly.
Remove oil from the casserole dish and wipe it clean.
Start by arranging the slices of tomato in one layer, followed by the aubergine slices.
Next, arrange the cauliflower pieces and chicken thighs.
Drain the rice and spread it over the chicken pieces and scatter the garlic on top.
Mix all the spices and seasoning into the stock and pour over the rice, making sure all the rice is covered with stock.
Put the pan on medium heat and simmer before covering the pan with a lid.
Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes.
Once ready, remove the lid and invert the pan onto a large serving plate.