Maklouba, also known as Maqluba, is a traditional Levantine dish that is popular in Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisines. The name “Maklouba” translates to “upside-down” in Arabic, and the dish is named as such because it is typically assembled in a pot, cooked, and then flipped upside down before serving. This flipping process results in a visually stunning presentation with the rice, meat, and vegetables arranged in layers.

Recipe’s Video

Recipe’s Video

Maklouba, also known as Maqluba or Upside-Down Rice, is a traditional Levantine dish that features layers of meat, vegetables, and rice. The dish is cooked in a pot and then flipped upside down for serving, creating a beautiful presentation. While there are variations of Maklouba across the region, here’s a basic recipe for making a chicken Maklouba:


For the Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Vegetables:

  • 2 large eggplants, sliced into rounds
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Garnish:

  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro


  1. Prepare the Chicken:
    • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
    • Add chicken pieces and brown them on all sides.
    • Season with ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and black pepper.
    • Pour in the chicken broth or water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, and the flavors are absorbed (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
    • Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Reserve the broth.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • In a separate pan, heat vegetable oil for frying.
    • Fry the eggplant and potato slices until golden brown. Drain excess oil on paper towels.
  3. Prepare the Rice:
    • In the same pot used for the chicken, layer the bottom with slices of tomatoes.
    • Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the tomatoes.
    • Place the fried eggplant and potato slices over the chicken.
    • Rinse the rice and spread it evenly over the vegetables and chicken.
    • Pour the reserved chicken broth over the rice, ensuring it covers the rice by about half an inch.
  4. Cook the Maklouba:
    • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
    • Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid (about 20-25 minutes).
  5. Flip and Serve:
    • Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat.
    • Place a large serving platter on top of the pot and carefully flip it upside down to transfer the Maklouba onto the platter.
    • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.

Maklouba is traditionally served with yogurt on the side. The presentation of the dish is an essential part of its charm, and the layers of chicken, vegetables, and rice create a visually appealing and delicious meal.

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