Maqluba (Upside-Down Layered Rice) Recipe | Metropolitan Market (2024)

Maqluba (Upside-Down Layered Rice) Recipe | Metropolitan Market (1)

Maqluba (Upside-Down Layered Rice) Recipe | Metropolitan Market (2)

Serves 6 to 8

Maqluba, in Arabic, means upside-down. This layered rice and vegetable dish is a showstopper! It is traditionally served in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Syria. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps—it's actually pretty easy and well worth the effort. Find fried onions for the garnish in the grocery aisle; they add bothcrunchandflavor.


  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 large eggplant, cubed (2 cups)
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Seeds from 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef (omit for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 -4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth, room temperature (plus up to 1 cup more, if needed, as rice cooks)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves or cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cubed potato on lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes. Add eggplant, drizzle with another 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to oven 10 minutes or until vegetables are browned.
  3. While vegetables roast, rinse rice in a strainer. Place rice in a bowl, cover with warm water, and soak 20 minutes. (While rice soaks, proceed to step 4.) After 20 minutes, drain rice and season with 2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons salt.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining spices. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add ground meat and tomato paste. Stir and cook until meat is no longer pink. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Set aside.
  5. Line bottom of a 3 to 4-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid with a circle of parchment paper. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over parchment. Arrange slices of tomato over parchment in 2 layers.
  6. Top tomatoes with roasted potatoes and eggplant. Spoon meat mixture over vegetables and press down with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or the back of a large spoon.
  7. Cover with drained rice. Carefully pour 3 cups room-temperature broth over rice, so as not to disrupt the grains. Do not stir.
  8. Bring contents of pot to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Cover pot with a sheet of foil. Then place lid over the foil on the pot. Crimp extra foil around the rim where the lid meets the pan to seal in the steam. Simmer gently 15 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and lid. Carefully fluff just the top layer of rice, stirring center grains to the outside for even cooking. Re-cover with foil and lid and cook another 25 minutes. Check doneness of rice. If it's not yet cooked through, fluff again and add a little more broth. Simmer gently 5 to 10 minutes longer or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and set aside 10 to 20 minutes before inverting.
  10. Place a large, rimmed platter over the top of the pan. Protect your hands with oven mitts. In one swift motion, hold the platter in place and carefully invert the maqluba onto the platter. Carefully remove the pan. Garnish with pine nuts, parsley, and fried onions. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
  11. Cook's Tip:
  12. If your maqluba falls apart as you invert it, don't worry. Garnish and enjoy ? it will taste just as good! You can also present it in a beautiful bowl for an elegant presentation.


Amount Per Serving (based on 8 servings)

Calories: 450

Fat: 21 g

Saturated Fat: 7 g

Trans Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 40 mg

Sodium: 440 mg

Carbohydrates: 51 g

Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 4 g

Added Sugars: 0 g

Protein: 256 g

We provide nutritional information for our delicious recipes to help you select foods that meet your health and lifestyle goals. Care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of recipes and information. Nutritional data is intended for educational purposes, and not for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical condition. Please consult your healthcare provider for specific advice on diet and health. Click here to learn how we analyze the nutritional value of our recipes.

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Maqluba (Upside-Down Layered Rice) Recipe | Metropolitan Market (2024)


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