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Today’s recipe, makluba, is a Jordanian specialty that is also found in many countries of the Middle East, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Iraq, Israel or even in Turkey.

This delicious savory cake made of rice, eggplant and meat is also very popular among Palestinian Arabs, who often serve it at banquets and family events.

As it is very filling and easy to preserve, makluba (مقلوبة, makluba or maqlooba) is traditionally served in Muslim families in the Middle East during Ramadan.

One of the peculiarities of maqluba is its presentation. Slowly cooked in a round flat pot, the preparation is then turned over to form that very characteristic meat and rice cake. In fact, the word maqluba, in Arabic, literally means “flipped over”.

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

The word makluba actually means "upside down", and for good reason: this Jordanian dish is removed from the mold and turned over on a serving plate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jordanian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 6 people
Author: Mike Benayoun


1½ lb lamb shank (or beef shank), boneless, cut into large cubes
2 eggplants , cut into strips lengthwise
2 cups rice
1 onion , thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 bay leaves


1. In a saucepan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, sauté the onions and the meat, stirring for a few minutes until the meat is browned on all sides.
2. Then add the salt, black pepper, allspice, cardamom, and bay leaves. Add 6 cups of water, then cover the pan and simmer until the meat is cooked, about 1h30 to 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the eggplant slices and fry on both sides until golden brown. Place the eggplant on paper towel and set aside.
4. In a large saucepan, arrange the eggplant slices all around at the bottom, rising slightly over the sides, then add the pieces of meat on top. Add 4 cups of the meat broth, the rice and a pinch of salt.
5. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover the pan and simmer over low heat until the rice is cooked (about 25 minutes).
6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then carefully turn the pan over a serving platter. Serve warm with yogurt or Arabic salad.

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