Upside Down (Maqluba)

  • Recipe By
  • Published May 20th
  • Ready In1h 40m
  • Servings6
  • Calories1019
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.

Upside Down (Maqluba) Ingredients

The following are the ingredients needed to make delicious Upside Down (Maqluba) for 6 servings:

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooking oil
  • 2 cups lamb meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 (16 ounce) container plain yogurt

Upside Down (Maqluba) Cooking Instructions

  • Prep30m
  • Cook1h 10m
  • Ready In1h 40m

To cook Upside Down (Maqluba), you need about 30 minutes of preparation time. The time needed to cook this Upside Down (Maqluba) is about 1 hour 10 minutes , and you can serve your Upside Down (Maqluba) within 1 hour 40 minutes . The following are the steps to cook Upside Down (Maqluba) easily:

  1. 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. 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. 3 Layer the lamb into the bottom of the large pot. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower on top of the lamb in layers. Pour the rice over the meat and vegetables, shaking the pot gently to allow the rice to settle into the dish. Pour the reserved cooking liquid from the lamb over the mixture until it is completely covered. Add water if needed.
  4. 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.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You may use beef or chicken in place of the lamb, if you like. Use about 2 cups, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 1019 calories; 78.1 grams of fat; 58.3 grams of carbohydrates; 24.3 grams of protein; 50 milligrams of cholesterol; 152 milligrams of sodium.

  1. Oct 6th 2011

    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 ...

  2. Aug 26th 2010

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

  3. Nov 13th 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.

  4. Oct 30th 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 ...

  5. Jun 4th 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 - d ...

  6. Jan 17th 2009

    It is an interesting recipe! Our family seemed to enjoy it: even my 14-years old sister who does not like eggplant or zucchini or broccoli asked for seconds. However, I thought the recipe wa ...

  7. Oct 27th 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 ...

  8. Jul 25th 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!

  9. Apr 10th 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 ...