Makloubeh– also known as Makloubi, Maqlooba, Maqluba, or Maqlouba is a popular dish in Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Makloubeh translates to “upside down” in Arabic because it combines layers of stewed beef, roasted eggplants, tomatoes and rice, cooked to perfection and then flipped directly from the pot onto a serving plate and topped with toasted nuts.
MAKLOUBEH – MAQLUBA- MIDDLE EASTERN UPSIDE DOWN RICE
The process of cooking makloubeh is so exciting! Between preparing the ingredients for assembly, to layering the dish, to cooking, and then the big reveal- The moment you flip the pot of Makloubeh.
Even if you flip it and it doesn’t stand, you’re still in for a treat!
Ingredients to Make this Upside Down Rice Dish:
(Scroll all the way down to get full recipe with exact measurements, below you will find helpful pictures and tips)
Meat: I use top sirloin beef, cut into chunks in this recipe, you can also use lamb chunks if you prefer. Just make sure they’re boiled until tender before assembling your makloubeh. Reserve the meat broth for cooking the rice.
Rice: Basmati rice works best for this dish, because they cook quick.
Eggplants: the star of this dish. You will need two medium sized eggplants, one cut long side and will cover the rice, and the other one cut into round circle and is used in layering the makloubeh.
Tomatoes: for extra flavor and color.
Middle Eastern spices: such as ground all spice, ground cinnamon and black pepper.
Nuts: Roasted with little olive oil to garnish the makloubeh – optional.
How to make Maqloubeh:
Wash, rinse and season your rice: Wash and rinse your rice very well, until the water runs almost clear. Drain it and add spices and salt and mix well until all the rice is coated.
Prepare the eggplant for roasting: You will need two large eggplant: one sliced length-wise and the other sliced into circles (in cross-section). Arrange them on 2 baking sheets, drizzle with oil oil and salt, then bake them at 450F for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
Meanwhile, cook the meat. Sear the meat in olive oil, then add water, and cook until tender.
After the meat has cooked, remove and set aside. Strain the beef stock and reserve for cooking the rice later.
Now you can assemble the makloubeh. In a medium size pot coated olive oil cooking; start by adding 3 round tomato slices to the center of the pot. Then arrange the long side eggplants in the center over the tomatoes and let the eggplants come up the side of the pan a little. So when you flip the pan later, the long side eggplants will be wrapped around the rice.
Now, add a layer of the cooked beef, followed by a layer of the round roasted eggplant.
Arrange a layer of the rest of the tomato slices, and top it with the spiced rice.
Finally, pour the reserved stock on top until it just barely covers the rice.
Cook the maqluba on medium high heat and bring it to a boil. Then cover it and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 40-50 minutes, until rice is cooked through and water is gone.
Turn off the heat and allow the maqluba to rest for a few minutes before flipping. Then, using a flat tray with slightly raised edges, place it on top of the pot and using both hands to flip it over onto the tray. Keep the pot in place upside down for a few minutes to allow gravity to do the work. This will help keep the maqluba in shape. Then slowly start raising the pot to release the makloubeh. That’s it!
Just before serving, l also like to garnish with some fried cashews or almonds for extra crunch, but this step in optional.
Tips for making Maqloubeh:
- I used a 5 quart non stick pot, similar to this one. Which was perfect for the measurements in recipe below.
- Reserve the beef stock and use it to cook the rice, if the stock is not enough, add a little extra water. The liquid should just barely cover the rice.
- Pouring beef stock – when pouring the stock in, do it gently. The rice layer shouldn’t be disturbed and should remain even.
- Serving platter– this should bigger than the pot, to make the flipping process easier.
What to Serve with Makloubeh:
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