All of the preparations can be made ahead and assembled an hourbefore serving.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and place the rack close to the broiler/grill.Peel the aubergines and slice lengthways, approximately 1 cm thick.Brush both sides with 4 tbs of the vegetable oil and lay on a baking trayin one layer. Roast until golden brown on both sides. Remove and setaside to cool
In a large pot heat 4 tbs of oil and brown the meat all over. Take ahandful of the sliced onions and sautée for one minute. Add the celery,leeks, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom, and allspice berries.Pour the cold water to cover the meat and allow to come to a boil,skimming off the scum on the surface. Lower the heat to medium andcover to cook the meat until it is tender, for about 40 minutes. Strainthe stock in a colander, with another pot under to catch the stock.Reserve the meat aside. Discard all of the vegetables
While the meat is cooking, in a large skillet heat a ¼ cup vegetableoil and fry the remaining onions until golden and sweet. Remove anddrain on paper towels. In another skillet, heat the butter and sautée thecarrots until lightly golden, for about 2 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with 1tsp cinnamon and set aside.
In a large 8-quart pot, place the aubergines vertically along the sidesof the pot next to each other overlapping slightly, and go all the wayaround. Gently place the cooked lamb in the bottom as the first layer.Add the carrots, then scatter the fried onions over. Mix the cinnamon,allspice and turmeric into the drained rice and spoon over the carrotlayer. Lastly, ladle the reserved stock to cover the rice completely. Youmight need to top it up with more water to cover the rice by 5 cm. Youmay need to add a little hot water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heatto a simmer, cover and leave until the rice is cooked and the liquid isabsorbed. It will take about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat andleave the maqlouba covered for at least 30 minutes to rest beforeserving. Take a large platter bigger than the pot and invert turningeverything upside down. Very slowly lift off the pot taking care not totopple the layers. Garnish with all of the toasted nuts. Serve immediatelywith cool yoghurt and the Arabian Garden salad on page 153.