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Makloubet Batenjen – Upside-down eggplants

Makloubet batenjen ©DedosFoodTruck

Makloubet Batenjen which literally translates into “upside-down eggplants”, is an old traditional dish that originated in the Levant region. It is mainly cooked in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Makloubeh is cooked in various ways using different kinds of vegetables such as eggplants, cauliflower, carrots or potatoes, and can be prepared either with beef or with chicken.

Total Servings: 6

Preparation time: 1 hour


1 kg of rice

1 kg of eggplants

1 kg of ground beef

280 ml of vegetable oil

1 tbsp. of salt

6 cups of water

1 tsp. of seven spices (black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, dry coriander, cardamom, cloves, saffron)

1/2 kg of raw cashew nuts for decoration

Preparation steps:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and then soak it in water for half an hour
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1cm thick circles
  3. Add salt to the eggplant slices and deep fry in 250 ml of vegetable oil.
  4. Leave the fried eggplant aside on a sieve to allow the oil to drain
  5. In a pot, fry the ground beef in 30 ml of vegetable oil
  6. On top of the fried ground beef, add a layer of eggplant then a layer of uncooked rice. Keep forming layers of eggplants and rice until you use all the quantity that you have
  7. Add the water and heat on a medium heat
  8. When the water starts boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes until all water is evaporated and the rice is well cooked
  9. Turn off the heat and leave the pot for 2-3 minutes closed
  10. After that, open the lid and turn the cooker upside down over a large plate
  11. In a saucepan, fry the cashews and add them over the cooked dish
  12. Serve with yogurt or a seasonal vegetable salad

For a healthier version, you can roast the eggplant slices in the oven.

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