Upside-Down Rice (Makloubeh)

In this dish, seasoned rice combines with layers of eggplant and cauliflower and it's all topped with a variety of toasted nuts.

Nutritional info
per serving

Calories 247
Fat 17g
Saturated fat 3g
Carbohydrates 17g
Sodium 609mg
Fiber 4g
Protein 9g
Cholesterol 19mg

Upside-Down Rice (Makloubeh)

8 cups
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • Olive oil spray
  • [1/2] lb. ground lamb
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 TB. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1[1/2] cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. seven spices
  • [1/2] tsp. ground cinnamon
  • [1/2] tsp. ground nutmeg
  • [1/2] tsp. ground cardamom
  • 4 cups water
  • [1/3] cup pine nuts
  • [1/3] cup sliced almonds
  • [1/4] cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped


Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Cut eggplant into [1/4]-inch slices, sprinkle with [1/2] teaspoon salt, and let drain in a strainer for 20 minutes. Pat dry.

Spread eggplant and cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil spray, and bake for 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown lamb for 5 minutes, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon.

Add yellow onion and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and cook for 5 minutes.

Transfer lamb and onions to a large bowl, and stir in long-grain rice, seven spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and remaining 1[1/2] teaspoons salt.

In a large, 3-quart pot, add a layer of eggplant, [1/2] of rice mixture, [1/2] of cauliflower, another layer of eggplant, remaining rice mixture, and a final layer of cauliflower. Slowly pour in water, cover, and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Let rice rest for 15 minutes after cooking.

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add pine nuts and almonds, and toast for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Carefully place a plate over the rice pot, and carefully flip over the pot. Give the pot a few taps and a little jiggle, and slowly lift up the pot.

Distribute toasted almonds around the plate, sprinkle Italian parsley over top of rice, and serve warm.

Mediterranean Morsel
If your rice doesn't come out in one piece and falls apart, that's okay. Just decorate the top of the plate with the almonds and the parsley, it will still look, smell, and taste great!

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