Maqlouba [GF; VO]

A delicious meal that can only be served upside down!

Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, is coming soon and Maqlouba reminds me of Iftar, the meal in which we break our fast at sunset, dinners while growing up in Kuwait. Each Thursday and Friday, we would either be invited to an Iftar dinner party at a family or friend’s house, or we would invite others to our house for an Iftar dinner party. The main meal would always be Maqlouba with meat and eggplant or chicken with cauliflower. My cousins and I were young and our main concern in Ramadan was always the delicious meal that couldn’t wait to break our fast with! Every Iftar, we would compare between the Maqlouba at each dinner and decide which one was our favorite. Mine was always my mother’s Maqlouba, of course! I hope you all enjoy this Maqlouba recipe as much as I love making it for my family!


Learn how to make this delicious meal by watching my recipe video on my YouTube Channel. 

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You can see how beautifully layered it is when upside down!



Best served with a side of finely chopped salad. My family loves olives on the side.



A delicious meal that can only be served upside down!
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  1. 3-4 large eggplants
  2. 2 cups of rice
  3. 1 bulb of garlic
  4. ½ tsp cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp safflower
  6. ½ tsp black pepper
  7. ½ tsp salt
  8. ½ cardamom
  9. 1 tsp seven spices*
  10. Whole cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, peppercorn
  11. Almonds
  12. Pine nuts
  13. ¼ cup vegetable oil**
  14. Lamb meat**
Roasting the eggplants
  1. Peel and cut the eggplant
  2. Wash the eggplant and allow them to dry
  3. Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides
  4. Place the eggplant in the middle rack in oven
Preparing the meat
  1. Soak the lamb meat in water and vinegar for 30 minutes**
  2. Place the meat in a pot of water
  3. Boil the water with the meat until the fat rises to the top
  4. Drain the fat and wash the meat
  5. Place the meat back in the pot and cover it with fresh water
  6. Add the ground spices to the meat
  7. Place the whole spices in a strainer and place the strainer in the water with the meat
  8. Keep cooking the meat until it is well-done
Preparing the rice
  1. Soak rice with salt in warm water for 30 minutes
  2. Wash the rice 2-3 times and then drain the water
Putting the meal together in layers
  1. First, place meat at the bottom of the pot
  2. Second, place the eggplant over the meat
  3. Third, pour the rice and make sure it’s equal on all sides of the pot
  4. Fourth, pour the water of meat into a strainer over the rice
  5. Place the pot over the stove on high
  6. When the pot boils, lower the heat to low and leave it to cook
Checking on the Maqlouba
  1. To check if the Maqlouba is ready, stick the end of a fork through the bottom of the pot.
  2. If the end of fork is dry, that means the meal is done.
  3. If the end of fork is not dry, leave it until it’s done.
  4. Heat oil and pour it over the maqlouba**
The finale
  1. Remove the pot from the stove and leave it for 10-15 minutes to sit
  2. Turn the Maqlouba upside down
  3. Sprinkle roasted almonds and pine nuts
  4. Enjoy!
  1. *Seven spices recipe can be found under the spices tab
  2. **Skip this ingredient or step if you’re making the meal vegetarian/vegan
  3. Best served with finely chopped salad on the side
Tatreez: Stitching Cuisines


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