NOTES: This recipe is a cross between 2 recipes, a Jordan and Palestine version. I hope you like the combo. It's all about the food! Maklube (Makloubeh) means "upside down" in Arabic.
Salt the eggplant and place in a colander to drain the juices we don't want.
In a large frying pan on high heat, add 2-3 tsp of vegetable oil. Carefully add the lamb and get a good sear on all sides. Do it in small batches if your using cubes of meat, do not add too many at once, otherwise you will be cooking the meat and not searing it. Set aside.
Add more vegetable oil to the pan and turn down the heat to medium. Fry the cauliflower florets until golden or softened through. Set aside.
Replenish the vegetable oil if needed. And fry the eggplant slices until golden and soft. *Make sure your heat gets back up to temperature if you are adding more oil, otherwise you will end up with oil soggy eggplant. Set Aside.
Mix the rice with the allspice, nutmeg, cumin, turmeric, salt, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds and peppercorns. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large casserole pan, (one that makes it easy to turn upside down and retain the shape of the rounded pot and can also go in the oven!). So it should be just tall enough. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and layer the ingredients as follows:
onion slices on bottom and around the sides, one onion high
I added potato slices that were also fried first after layering the cauliflower.
Add the stock until it just covers the rice. If you have leftover stock use it in another recipe. If you need more stock and don't have any more you can either mix warm water with a bullion cube or just use plain water until the liquid level is just over the rice.
Start the casserole on top of the stove on medium/high heat until boiling, then cover the pot and place in the oven for 1 hour.
To serve, remove the pots cover and place a large serving plate or platter on top and turn the pot upside down. Tap lightly on the pot bottom to make sure any sticky onions come off attached to the round casserole. Serve with plain yogurt. Greek yogurt is great with this.