Maklouba - upside down Arabic rice

Maklouba is a traditional Arabic rice which is flipped and served upside down . The rice is layered with meat and vegetables , though this is a vegetarian version .

Maklouba is also spelled and called as Maaluba, magluba, maqlouba, Maqlooba. The word Maqluba translates literally as “upside-down” in Arabic . The rice is cooked with meat and vegetables in a single pot , which is then flipped upside down when serving . Maqluba is very popular in the Middle Eastern countries like Jordan , Syria .

When it comes to substituting meat , I normally use paneer and that’s what I did with this recipe too , but soya would make a great substitute as well . The rice here is partially cooked and then layers are made with vegetables and then further cooked . The authentic rice uses egg plants , but since I am allergic to them I skipped them. Onion , tomatoes , potatoes and capsicum are the other veggies that are used .

The rice is partially cooked in a vegetable stock , which is quite flavourful then a part of it is flavoured with tomato purée . That is all the preparation with rice . The veggies are cut into rounds and fried . I cut the paneer into rectangular pieces .

While you layer the rice and vegetables , make sure you press the rice . At this stage , you need to add more stock for the rice to cook . A saucer is placed upside down over the rice and the stock is poured , so that the rice does not float over . The rice should be cooked on very slow fire .

The rice should always be layered in a heavy bottomed pan , I did use a heavy one yet when I flipped the rice , I felt it was a little dark in color . It should have been golden , though the taste was absolutely fantastic . The rice is a wonderful one pot meal . The pine nuts and almonds make a exotic garnish along with mint leaves and pomegranate pearls .

Maklouba doesn’t need any accompaniments , but I served some Greek Yogurt and a simple salad on the side and we all enjoyed this upside down traditional Maklouba , which is my Day 19 post for the Biryani , Pulao , Khichadi Festival .

Maklouba - upside down Arabic rice

Maklouba (Vegetable Upside-Down Dish)

Ingredients

Rice

2 cups rice
1/2 cup cooked rice ( optional )
2 tomatoes , sliced
2-3 potatoes , sliced
2 onions , cut into rings
1 capsicum , cut rounds
200 gms paneer , cut into rectangles
3 tbsp tomato purée

Stock

4 1/2 cups water
1/2 carrot
2-3 flowrets cauliflower
2 tbsp onion , fried
1/2 tsp all spice

Method

Stock

In a pot add carrots , cauliflower and fried onion with 41/2 cups of water .
Let the water boil , add all spice .
Let the water boil till about half cup has reduced .
Strain the water in a big sieve and keep aside .

Rice

Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes .
Place about 31/2 cups stock to boil .
Add salt and rice to the stock and let the rice cook for about 12 minutes .
The stock should have absorbed by now .
Remove the rice and divide in two parts .
Add tomato purée to one part .

Other preparations

Peel the onions and cut into rings . Deep fry and keep aside .
Peel potatoes cut into roundels. Sprinkle salt and deep fry . Keep aside .
Cut tomatoes into thick slices .
Cut paneer into rectangular pieces .

Assembling the Rice

For this you need to use a heavy bottomed pot .
Drizzle oil and coat the bottom of the pan .
Arrange a layer of tomatoes , potatoes , onions , capsicum and paneer .
( it is totally up to you how you want to arrange , remember this will be the face of your dish , so arrange artistically . )
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the veggies .
Now spread a layer of the prepared rice .
Next arrange a vegetable layer , finishing all the chopped veggies .
Spread a layer of the tomato rice and using a flat bowl press the rice . This is done to compress the rice .
Place a saucer upside down over the rice and poke random holes with a wooden skewer . Now gently pour about 1/2 cup of the stock over it .
Carefully remove the saucer .
This is done so that rice does not rise up as we add the stock .
Cover and cook the rice on very slow fire for 20 minutes .
Spread the cooked rice over this and again press , cover and simmer for another 5-7 minutes .

To serve

Remove the pot from the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Place a large serving plate on top of the pot and flip it over.
Very carefully, lift the pot off the plate to reveal the layered dish.
Garnish with roasted pine nuts , almonds , mint and pomegranate pearls .
Serve with fresh yogurt and salad .

Maklouba - upside down Arabic rice

Here is what I have been posting under the Biryani, Pulao, Khichadi Festival

Day 1 How to cook Rice with Absorption Method
Day 2 How to cook Perfect Rice for Biryani
Day 3 How to cook Rice in a Pressure Cooker
Day 4 How to cook Rice in a Microwave
Day 5 How to cook Rice in a Rice Cooker
Day 6 How to cook Basic Khichadi
Day 7 Undhiyu Biryani 
Day 8 Banarasi Tandoori Biryani
Day 9 Bharwan Mirch ki Biryani
Day 10 Sindhi Thooma wara Chawara
Day 11 Achaari Panneer Pulao
Day 12 Nuts Pulao
Day 13 Mumbai Tawa Khichadi
Day 14 Vegetable Layered Khichadi
Day 15 Khichadi Bowl
Day 16 Stuffed Rice
Day 17 Kulhad wale Rajma Chawal
Day 18 Rice and Curry in Banana Leaf Packets
Day 19 Cheesy Baked Rice with Vegetables

 

Print Recipe
Maklouba (Vegetable Upside-Down Dish)
Maklouba is a traditional Arabic rice which is flipped and served upside down . The rice is layered with meat and vegetables , though this is a vegetarian version .
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
Passive Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Rice
Stock
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
Passive Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Rice
Stock
Instructions
Stock
  1. In a pot add carrots , cauliflower and fried onion with 41/2 cups of water .
  2. Let the water boil , add all spice .
  3. Let the water boil till about half cup has reduced .
  4. Strain the water in a big sieve and keep aside .
Rice
  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes .
  2. Place about 31/2 cups stock to boil .
  3. Add salt and rice to the stock and let the rice cook for about 12 minutes .
  4. The stock should have absorbed by now .
  5. Remove the rice and divide in two parts .
  6. Add tomato purée to one part .
Other preparations
  1. Peel the onions and cut into rings . Deep fry and keep aside .
  2. Peel potatoes cut into roundels. Sprinkle salt and deep fry . Keep aside .
  3. Cut tomatoes into thick slices .
  4. Cut paneer into rectangular pieces .
Assembling the Rice
  1. For this you need to use a heavy bottomed pot .
  2. Drizzle oil and coat the bottom of the pan .
  3. Arrange a layer of tomatoes , potatoes , onions , capsicum and paneer .
  4. ( it is totally up to you how you want to arrange , remember this will be the face of your dish , so arrange artistically . )
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the veggies .
  6. Now spread a layer of the prepared rice .
  7. Next arrange a vegetable layer , finishing all the chopped veggies .
  8. Spread a layer of the tomato rice and using a flat bowl press the rice . This is done to compress the rice .
  9. Place a saucer upside down over the rice and poke random holes with a wooden skewer . Now gently pour about 1/2 cup of the stock over it .
  10. Carefully remove the saucer .
  11. This is done so that rice does not rise up as we add the stock .
  12. Cover and cook the rice on very slow fire for 20 minutes .
  13. Spread the cooked rice over this and again press , cover and simmer for another 5-7 minutes .
To serve
  1. Remove the pot from the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. Place a large serving plate on top of the pot and flip it over.
  3. Very carefully, lift the pot off the plate to reveal the layered dish.
  4. Garnish with roasted pine nuts , almonds , mint and pomegranate pearls .
  5. Serve with fresh yogurt and salad .
Recipe Notes

10 thoughts on “Maklouba – upside down Arabic rice”

  1. I am not surprised that you served up such an exotic dish. Where is there is a need for creativity, presentation, you jump right in and steal the show

  2. I had this planned for the upside down theme but couldn’t make it. I was, however, contemplating on the replacements. Now you have done it so perfectly, I would surely follow your recipe, the dish has turned out so good Vaishali.

  3. You always inspire us with your dishes. You go far and beyond Vaishali. Awesome and kudos for sharing this detailed recipe. Cooking the rice in stock and then in tomato puree would have infused such amazing flavors and I guess that’s what made the color to turn brown. Golden brown or brown, as long as it tastes delicious, why to even bother.

  4. middle eastern dishes have such a haunting flvour and depth in all their dishes, its one of my fav cuisines.. this is no exception. and beautifully made and presented !

  5. I had read a few days back about this rice a few days back.. wanted to try this but then was nit sure on the outcome.. looking at your pics and recipe I can now give it a try. Indeed a great share.

  6. Can you pass on that top layer to me. I would give you anything for that. You are saying it is dark in colour, but I love such way and I really would eat that first. Tempting share.

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