Makloubeh ʻUpside down’ Spiced Rice with Lamb & Aubergines - Serves 6-8

Joudie Kalla

Joudie Kalla

15th September 2016
Joudie Kalla

Makloubeh ʻUpside down’ Spiced Rice with Lamb & Aubergines - Serves 6-8

Lamb recipes tend to be exceptionally varied, with meals that offer classic comfort food as well as dishes that boast a more delicate, refined flavour. Take a look at the Makloubeh ʻUpside down’ Spiced Rice with Lamb & Aubergines - Serves 6-8 recipe below as tried and tested by our professional chefs. The cinnamon in the rice really makes this dish stand out. It’s absolutely worth the effort involved and a real showstopper dish. My whole family love this dish – we make it in many different ways, but this version is the one I like the most. I personally like adding potatoes to it but I have stuck to the way my mother makes it here. My niece Thalia absolutely adores it – she only eats it when my mother cooks it as she says it makes her tummy happy.


  • 1kg (2¼lb) lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 450ml (15fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 3 aubergines, peeled in stripes, leaving some skin intact, then sliced into 3cm rings
  • 750g (1lb 10 oz) Egyptian rice (or pudding or basmati rice)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large buffalo tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 150g (5½oz) whole skinned, blanched and toasted almonds
  • 150g (5½oz) thick Greek yogurt, to serve


Put the lamb and onions in a saucepan, cover with water without stirring and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, covered with a lid. Remove any scum that appears on the surface and keep doing this until no more scum appears. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the water but keep the water in the pan.
Heat the vegetable oil in a separate pan and shallow fry the aubergine for
3 minutes on each side, then drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
Tip the rice into a bowl, adding the cinnamon, pepper, salt and olive oil and mix well.
Arrange the tomatoes in the base of a deep pan. Scatt er a handful of rice over the tomatoes, layer half the lamb on top, followed by half the aubergine and then top with rice. Repeat this layering again, fi nishing with a layer of rice.
Cover with the reserved lamb cooking water to about 3cm (1¼ inch) over the top and cover with a lid. Add a litt le more water if you don't have enough cooking water. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 30–40 minutes without stirring at all as you want the rice to be tipped out in one piece once cooked, like a cake.
Leave to cool slightly, then place a plate bigger than the pan on top and carefully turn it over to turn out the makloubeh. Sprinkle with the parsley, toasted nuts and serve with yogurt.
Recipe and images extracted from Palestine on a Plate: Memories from my mother’s kitchen by Joudie Kalla, photography by Ria Osbourne, published by Jacqui Small (£25).

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