Simply Lebanese

Eggplant Makloubeh

Eggplant Makloube
  • Prep Time
    15 mins.
  • Cook Time
    70 mins.
  • Serving
    6
This Middle-Eastern rice dish is unlike any other with all the beautiful layers including vegetables like eggplant, ground beef, spiced rice and topped with a variety of toasted nuts. The dish is flipped over for a stunning main dish that will impress any guests.
Eggplant Makloube

Makloubeh (or maqluba) translates to “flipped over” in Arabic and perfectly describes this dish. It might look quite intimidating with all the delicious layers of vegetables, beef and rice, however, this dish is a labor of love, and just requires a few steps.

What is Eggplant Makloubeh?

Makloubeh, or Eggplant Makloubeh in particular, is a rice dish consisting of fried eggplant, spiced ground beef and rice all layered on top of one another. These layers are cooked in beef or chicken broth. Once the dish is done cooking, it is flipped over onto a plate, and topped with toasted nuts for serving. Makloubeh is a very popular dish throughout all of the Middle-East, but the levant area in particular. It is very delicious, and makes for a beautiful presentation.

Eggplant Makloube

While it is commonly made in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and other regions, every region has their own way of preparing it. The eggplant version is quite popular in Lebanon and is what I grew up eating in my home. The dish is also commonly made with lamb or chicken. You can use ground lamb, or lamb shanks. There are quite a few different varieties.

How to make Makloubeh

To prepare Makloubeh (or maqluba), you want to start by pre-cooking all the vegetables. For this Eggplant Makloubeh, I am going to be using two large eggplants along with one whole cauliflower. The cauliflower is optional, and not often included in this dish, but I find it to add wonderful flavor, plus my daughter loves it.

I am also adding sliced potatoes as the first layer but, you could use tomatoes instead or both if you would like. The first layer tends to stick a bit to the bottom of your pot and you don’t want the eggplant to stick, which is why potatoes or tomatoes are used.

Traditionally, the vegetables, like the eggplant and cauliflower are deep fried. However, I want to make this dish a bit healthier and use less oils, so instead I am going to bake the eggplant and air-fry the cauliflower and potato slices. You could bake, air-fry, deep fry or even shallow fry any of your vegetables. If using tomatoes, you do not need to pre-cook them.

Next, you want cook the ground beef. I browned and sauteed it with some avocado oil and seasoned with salt, black pepper and seven spices. For the rice, I love using basmati, but you can use any long-grain rice. After washing it thoroughly, I seasoned it with some salt, black pepper and seven spices as well.

Now the layering process for the maqluba begins. In a deep pot, you want to start with the cooked potatoes, followed by the eggplant. Arrange the eggplant slices vertically so they wrap around the rice once flipped over. Next add the cauliflower florets, followed by the ground beef layer and lastly the seasoned rice. To cook the dish, I used chicken broth, but you can use beef or even vegetable broth. Add enough broth so the rice is covered and about 1 cm above.

Once the dish is fully cooked, you want to let it cool for at least 20 minutes to let everything set so, once you flip it over it does not fall apart on you. I used my favorite flipping platter by Our Place* to flip this dish over, but you can use any round flat serving platter to flip over. Place the serving platter (or flipping platter) on top of the pot and hold on to the handles of your pot. Flip the pot over and reveal the beautiful Eggplant Makloubeh. Top with a variety of toasted nuts. Some wonderful salads that go with this main dish are Laban w Khyar or Fattoush.

Interested in the pot used fo this recipe? Click Here!

The 8-in-1 Always Pan 728x90

STEP 1

Peel and slice eggplants lengthwise.

Eggplant Makloube

Sprinkle eggplant slices with about a teaspoon of salt, keep aside for 30 minutes to draw out moisture. Dry out with a kitchen paper towels.

Eggplant Makloube

STEP 2

Preheat the oven to 400F. On a parchment-paper lined baking tray, lay the eggplant slices. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of avocado oil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Flip hallway through.
Eggplant Makloube

STEP 3

Peel and slice potatoes into slices and set aside. Separate the cauliflower florets, wash and set aside. Drizzle 2 tablespoon of oil on the cauliflower florets, and 1 tablespoon on the potato slices. Season with a teaspoon of salt.

Bake or air-fry the cauliflower florets and potato slices and set aside. The cauliflower takes about 20-25 minutes and potato slices about 15 minutes.
Eggplant Makloube

STEP 4

In the Perfect pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and cook all the nuts until golden brown and set aside.

Leave the remaining oil in the pot and add the ground beef. Brown the ground beef and season with 2 teaspoons of 7 spices, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside.
Eggplant Makloube

STEP 5

Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly until water runs clear. Season the salt with remaining 2 teaspoons of 7 spices, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well to combine.

Eggplant Makloube

STEP 6

It’s now time to lay the ingredients in the perfect pot.

Eggplant Makloube

Lay the cooked potato slices…

Eggplant Makloube

…then the eggplant…

Eggplant Makloube

…followed by the cauliflower florets.

Eggplant Makloube

Spread the ground beef on top and lastly the seasoned rice.

Pour the chicken broth over the rice. You need enough broth to fully immerse the rice and a 1/2 inch above.

Eggplant Makloube

STEP 7

Cover with the lid and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Lower to the lowest heat and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until rice is fluffy.

STEP 8

You want to let the dish cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping the dish with the flipping platter or serving platter. This will help the rice set and prevent the dish from falling apart once flipped. Place the flipping platter (or serving platter) on top of the Perfect pot and flip the pot over.
Once the plate is set on a flat surface, slowly remove the pot.
Eggplant Makloube
Eggplant Makloube

Eggplant Makloubeh

This Middle-Eastern rice dish is unlike any other with all the beautiful layers including vegetables like eggplant, ground beef, spiced rice and topped with a variety of toasted nuts. The dish is flipped over for a stunning main dish that will impress any guests.
4.63 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: Eggplant Recipe, maklouba, Makloube, Makloubeh, maqluba
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 628kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 2 lg. Eggplants
  • 2 med. Potatoes
  • 1 lb, Ground Beef
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • ¼ cup Assorted Nuts (Pine nuts, Sliced almonds, Cashews)
  • 7 tb. Avocado Oil (Divided)
  • 5 tsp. Salt
  • 4 tsp. Seven Spices (Divided)
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Peel and slice eggplants lengthwise. Sprinkle eggplant slices with about a teaspoon of salt, keep aside for 30 minutes to draw out moisture. Dry out with a kitchen paper towels.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. On a parchment-paper lined baking tray, lay the eggplant slices. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of avocado oil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Flip hallway through.
  • Peel and slice potatoes into slices and set aside. Separate the cauliflower florets, wash and set aside. Drizzle 2 tablespoon of oil on the cauliflower florets, and 1 tablespoon on the potato slices. Season with a teaspoon of salt. Bake or air-fry the cauliflower florets and potato slices and set aside. The cauliflower takes about 20-25 minutes and potato slices about 15 minutes.
  • In the Perfect pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and cook all the nuts until golden brown and set aside. Leave the remaining oil in the pot and add the ground beef. Brown the ground beef and season with 2 teaspoons of 7 spices, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside.
  • Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly until water runs clear. Season the salt with remaining 2 teaspoons of 7 spices, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • In the Perfect pot, lay the cooked potato slices, then the eggplant, followed by the cauliflower florets. Spread the ground beef on top and lastly the seasoned rice. Pour the chicken broth over the rice. You need enough broth to fully immerse the rice and a 1/2 inch above.
  • Cover with the lid and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Lower to the lowest heat and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until rice is fluffy.
  • You want to let the dish cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping the dish with the flipping platter or serving platter. This will help the rice set and prevent the dish from falling apart once flipped. Place the flipping platter (or serving platter) on top of the Perfect pot and flip the pot over. Once the plate is set on a flat surface, slowly remove the pot.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 2230mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg

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