There is nothing “upside down” about this food other than the fact that you turn it upside down on a plate to serve it, like a cake. It is delightful and very impressive, fragrant and incredibly delicious. Mostly you make it with lamb, but if you want you can also make it with chicken.

Maklubeh (Upside down rice)

Galatia Pamboridis
There is nothing "upside down" about this food other than the fact that you turn it upside down on a plate to serve it, like a cake.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Main Courses
Servings 10


  • 800 grams cubed lamb boneless
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp all-spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 5 cardamom seeds cracked
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cube of chicken stock dissolved in 1 cup of boiled water

For rice and vegetables

  • 1 large aubergine cut into approximately 2cm cubes
  • 1 small cauliflower divided into small florets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp coriander ground
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic melted
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cup rice basmati
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted
  • Extra olive oil for frying


  • Mix all the spices for the lamb in a small bowl. Put the lamb in a large bowl, and add the spice mixture. Mix well to get the spices all over. Let the lamb marinate for at least 2 hours or better than the day before. In a deep pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Saute the marinated lamb in two portions until it gets color. Put it all back in the pan that was fried and add the stock and 4 more cups of boiling water. Cover the pot and simmer the lamb for an hour until well cooked and tender.
  • If we want, we can also boil them in a pressure cooker. The point is that the lamb becomes very soft.
  • We put the rice in a bowl with plenty of cold water to swell for an hour.
  • While the lamb is boiling, prepare the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 230° C. Put the cut eggplant together with the cauliflower in an oven tray. Pour over the olive oil and mix well to get the oil everywhere. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once every 15 minutes.
  • We drain the lamb from the water we boiled it in and now it is a delicious broth. We measure the broth. We should have 4 cups. If it is less, add water.
  • In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Saute for a while until they soften and take on a little color. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat. Add the boiled lamb, eggplant and cauliflower, pepper, cumin, coriander and cinnamon to the same pot. Stir a bit to bring everything together to a boil.
  • We assemble the food. Drain the rice and rinse it well. Put it in a bowl and mix it well with the melted butter. Put 3 spoons of olive oil in a large pot.
  • Cut the tomatoes into slices and spread them everywhere to cover the bottom of the pot. Put the lamb/vegetable mixture on top and spread it with a spoon. Finally, put the rice, spreading it to go everywhere. Pour over the 4 cups of lamb stock. Cover the pot with its lid and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Turn off the stove, cover the pot with a clean towel, put the lid back on and let the food stand for half an hour.
  • To serve, turn the food upside down on a round plate. Sprinkle with roasted almonds and chopped coriander if desired.
Collections Easter, Sundays

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