Upside Down (Maqluba) Recipe -
Upside Down (Maqluba) Recipe

Upside Down (Maqluba)

Recipe by  

"This perfect meal features all four food groups. It is inspired by the Arabic dish called 'Maqluba,' which translates to 'upside down.' When the meal has finished cooking, you take the pot and flip it upside down onto a large serving platter, and everybody helps themselves."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 10 mins

    1 hr 40 mins


  1. Bring to a boil the water, onion, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Add the lamb; reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Separate the lamb from the liquid and set aside. Transfer the liquid to a bowl.
  2. While the lamb mixture simmers, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Fry the eggplant slices in the hot oil, assuring the pieces do not touch, until brown on both sides; remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Use the same procedure to fry the zucchini and the cauliflower. Cook the broccoli in the oil until hot and remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. Layer the lamb into the bottom of the large pot. Arrange the eggplants, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower on top of the beef in layers. Pour the rice over the beef and vegetables, shaking the pot gently to allow the rice to settle into the dish. Pour the reserved liquid from the beef over the mixture until it is completely covered. Add water if needed.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the rice is soft and the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot. Place a large platter over the pot and flip the pot so the dish is 'upside down' on the platter. Serve with yogurt on the side.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 05, 2009

I am the author of this recipe, and it has been radically 'modified' from what I submitted. First, I believe you only need about 5 cups of water, but "may" need to add an extra cup or so - depending on whether or not the rice is covered when you go to place it on the stove to simmer. Also, chicken is a great substitute for the lamb - as is veal. When frying the eggplant, it's best not to overlap them - but it really doesn't matter too much in the end. Some reviewer's commented that the cooking time is too long. I use jasmin rice and it cooks in about 30 minutes. But, if you've got a favourite rice you use often, you would have a better guess as to when it would be done. The prep time is longer than other dishes, but certainly not more difficult. And certainly worth it every time! =) P.S. What I use to speed up the prep time is frozen vegetables!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 16, 2009

It was ok, but not that tasty. If I were to make it again, I'd have to spice it up a lot more.

Oct 30, 2009

Years ago I ate this dish at a friends house, her mom was of Arabic heritage, and I have been wondering what it was called or how it was made ever since :) I understand that this particular recipe was only inspired by the original dish, still I couldn't help omitting the cauliflower and broccoli, as they are not usually part of the middle eastern cooking. Even though looking for authentic, I made some changes to match this dish to our liking, for example didn't fry the veggies in oil, but merely sauteed them in 1 tablespoon of butter. If you choose to do so as well I recommend doing the zucchini first, and then adding a little more butter/oil to your pan and sauteing the eggplant second, as it has the ability to absorb crazy amounts of oil (probably why another reviewer found it very soggy). I used basmati rice and it does cook a little faster, still like the original poster commented, 7 cups of water is way too much, even with 5 cups you will have to let it simmer with an open lid for at least 10 minutes, so I would recommend not using more than 3-4 if your rice cooks faster. For the dish to hold form the rice should absorb all the water. Even with these changes we simply loved this dish, I garnished with cayenne and dried mint, as I found these would compliment this dish the most. Thank you :)

Jul 25, 2008

This is an awesome dish. My husband is from Jordan and he loved it. I must admit it did take some work, but it was well worth it!

Sep 30, 2012

My husband is middle eastern and we make this frequently. We only use the eggplant and cauliflower though. After frying the vegetables you need to salt them prior to layering them with the rice. We use basmati rice which we soak for 20 minutes in hot water to soften it. Drain the rice and mix with salt and the same spices used to make the meat-this combined with the soup from the meat should give the dish enough flavor for those saying there is not enough salt. I have made this with lamb and with chicken...both are delicious. We also saute pine nuts or almonds and sprinkle over the top once it has been flipped along with some fresh chopped parsley

Oct 27, 2008

I added all the reserve liquid - I should have known it was too much. By the time it simmered off my rice wasn't a grain anymore - more like mush. I will definitely start with less liquid next time to spike the flavor and save the texture.

Apr 10, 2008

I am so happy I found this recipe! My Jordanian mother in law makes this (and all sorts of variations...uses chicken and cauliflower only, sometimes lamb). She tried to tell me how to make it (sounds exactly like this) but had no idea the amounts. I can't wait to make this - it is yummy! I especially like when you just use chicken and cauliflower since I'm not a lamb fan.

Aug 31, 2010

Great recipe!! everyone loved it. I only used eggplant and zucchini, left out the other veggie.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 1019 kcal
  • 51%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 58.3 g
  • 19%
  • Cholesterol
  • 50 mg
  • 17%
  • Fat
  • 78.1 g
  • 120%
  • Fiber
  • 6.8 g
  • 27%
  • Protein
  • 24.3 g
  • 49%
  • Sodium
  • 127 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Crunchy Kale Snacks
Crunchy Kale Snacks

Kale is the healthy, green leaf that transforms into a crunchy snack chip in your oven.

So Many Pork Chop Recipes
So Many Pork Chop Recipes

You can't go wrong choosing from over 400 pork chop recipes with ratings and tips!

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Upside Down BBQ Meatloaf

See how to make a super-quick and easy meatloaf.

Tom's Down to the Bone Pork Chops

Tender and crispy baked pork chops.

Down Home Baked Beans

Chili sauce, chopped bacon, and brown sugar add big flavor to baked beans.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States