Spring Ma'loubeh "Upside Down"
Updated: Jun 19
Ma’loubeh is a very popular one pot Levantine dish that layers both rice, vegetables and meat creating a savory like cake once the pot is inverted. The word Ma’loubeh in Arabic means upside down and that’s because to eat this dish you must invert it over the serving dish and you get an upside down Ma’loubeh. When you invert the dish there is always a drum roll and anticipation of how the Ma’loubeh will turn out and whether it will hold its shape.
This dish is often cooked with chicken or lamb, but its also very easy to omit the meat and keep it vegetarian. The well spiced rice is often accompanied by oily fried cauliflower and eggplants that are so delicious. While growing up my mom would have to hide the fried Ma’loubeh veggies otherwise they will never make it to the pot. This particular version is called “Ma’loubeh Rabeeiya” which in Arabic it literally translates to “made in spring”.
Green fava beans are one of my favorite spring vegetables. Their season is so short so I try to enjoy them in various ways and this dish is one of my favorites. You can def make this with frozen fava beans if it’s too hard to find fresh ones.
Foulieh Upside Down
2 cups jasmine rice or basmati rice. Rinsed few times until water runs clear
1 pound minced lamb or beef (meat pieces will be great here too like lamb chops or chicken)
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Few grates of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tbls olive oil
For the vegetables:
1 pound green fava beans (trimmed and washed) if you can’t find fresh you can substitute with frozen green fava beans thawed
1 tbls Coriander
A few grates of nutmeg
Chili flakes (optional)
5 Garlic cloves smashed
3 Shallots thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbls Olive oil
Heat a pot of water and add 1 tbls of salt to season. Once the water boils add the fava beans for few minutes. Rinse the fava beans under cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the green color.
Heat 1 tbls olive oil in the pot. Add the minced meat and spices and sauté until browned and cooked through. Place the meat aside
In the same pot add garlic and shallots, red pepper flakes and sauté for few minutes.
Add the blanched fava beans. Season with coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with minced meat
Add the rice
Add water to cover the rice by half an inch. Bring the mixture to boil Lower the heat to simmer Cover the pot and let it cook on low until the rice is cooked through about 35-40 min. If the rice absorbed all the water and still not cooked add more water 1/2 cup at a time.
Let the pot rest for 15-20 minutes this will help the layers hold their shape together.
The moment of truth and drum roll please:
Invert the pot into your serving platter. Tap the bottom of the pot gently to help ensure nothing sticks to the pot. Holding both pot handles slowly lift it revealing the delicious layers beneath.
Serve with a simple salad and savory yogurt and some lemon wedges.