International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Maqluba Recipe (Palestinian rice and eggplant casserole)

(Palestinian rice and eggplant casserole)

Average: 3.6 (16 votes)

Maqluba (مقلوبة) is Arabic for "upside-down," which is how this popular Palestinian dish of rice, eggplant and meat is served.

4 to 6 servings


  • Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds -- 1
  • Onion, minced -- 1
  • Ground lamb or beef -- 1 pound
  • Allspice -- 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg -- big pinch
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds -- 1
  • Water or stock, well seasoned with salt -- 2 cups
  • Rice, soaked 1/2 hour in water to cover -- 1 1/2 cups


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the eggplant slices on each side to lightly brown. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the ground lamb or beef, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and sauté, breaking up the meat, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and drain off excess oil.
  3. Grease a 3-quart heavy bottomed saucepan well with olive oil, butter, lard or shortening. Drain the rice. Lay the tomato slices to cover the bottom of the saucepan. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the rice over the tomatoes. Spoon the meat mixture over the rice. Lay the eggplant slices to cover the meat and press down well to compact all the ingredients. Add the rest of the rice and the seasoned water or stock.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high flame, then quickly reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, check to see if more water needs to be added.
  5. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove lid and invert a serving platter over the saucepan. Turn upside-down and carefully slip the saucepan off the rice. Serve hot.


  • Use cubed meat or chicken pieces instead of ground meat if you like.
  • For a vegetarian version, eliminate the meat and substitute a layer of sliced potato. Or double the amount of eggplant.


  • Despite greasing the pot with lard or oil, the rice sometimes sticks to the bottom of the pot. Try covering the bottom with a round of greased parchment paper to eliminate this problem.


what kind of rice do you use?also how much water is needed to cook the rice?

Any variety of long-grain rice will do. Try basmati rice for an especially fluffy result.

my family really likes the rice extra fancey U.S. "homai" california calrose rice and i just want to make sure how water is needed to make the maqluba rice(how many cups of water i need to put for this kind of rice thank you so much.

a rule of thumb for any rice dishes:

remember 1 to 1 1/2 for rice... 1 cup of rice to 1 and a half cups water... or any amount of rice just add that same amount of water times 1.5... even if you use a coffee mug then just add one and a half coffee mugs of water to the rice boil the water, lower to a simmer add rice and salt, cover and simmer...

The rice gets cooked when it is combined with the other ingredients. SOak 1 1/2 cups in enough water to cover the rice for 30 min. then drain.

I used this recipe to make a vegetarian version of maqlouba. it was delicious. I highly recommend it!

It is also delicious if you add cauliflower that you cook chopped up and browned in oil before adding it.

This recipe is not authentic, the authentic recipe includes fresh garlic cloves, toasted vermicelli, rice, fried cauliflower, fried potatoes, fried carrots, and eggplant. No ground meat or tomatoes, only whole pieces of meat and most of the time it is skinless chicken leg quarters with a spice blend of Arabic spices special for Maqloubi and salt. Season meat when cooking it but also season rice when you add the rice too so all the flavors will be fully developed in the whole dish. The Arabic Word Maqloubi translated in English is "Upside Down" When you are cooking the food the food is layered in the pot and when done, it is flipped upside down onto the huge platter and is served from there. The rice and toasted vermicelli are to be on the bottom, then the meat, then fried vegetables on top. Even if you decide to make a vegetarian version, you still need more vegetables that what is listed in the version above. I have been making Maqloubi this way for years and told by everyone that this is the most authentic version they have tasted since leaving back home, Palestine. Try to add these additional items and you will only be pleasantly surprised! I hope you enjoy this fully!.