Traditional Makluba

Makluba –  a dish we love and tastes even better the following day! Made with c

Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

hicken, rice and yummy eggplant.

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  • Author: najla
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8


It’s always a good time to eat Makluba. The recipe described here is exactly how my mother makes it. Hope you love it as much as we do!


2-3 pounds of bone-in chicken

2 large eggplants peeled and sliced

1 cup of rice

2 onion

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

A few whole cardamoms

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs of 7 spice

extra bowl


Start by placing the rice in water and let soak for 30 minutes.

Then salt the eggplant slices so the water drains from them. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Dice the onion. Quarter the other onion.

We will need 2 large pots and a frying pan.

Fill one pot with water about 2/3rds of the way. Place the chicken pieces in the water and add the whole spices such as the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardomans, and quartered onions. Add salt and boil the chicken on medium-high for 10 minutes then down to medium for 45 minutes until cooked. Make the chicken as though you are making chicken soup (see here for our awesome chicken soup recipe!).

Add 1 TBL of oil to the pan and fry the eggplant. Once eggplant turns soft and darker than tan, put aside to drain off the oil. Either on paper towels or in a colander. Fry the diced onions in the same oil used for the eggplant. Turn the stove off once the onions have softened.

Once the chicken is cooked, take it outside of the pot and lay it on a plate. Sprinkle chicken with the spices and sautee on top of onions for a few minutes. In the second pot, add a layer of rice and lay eggplant the layer of rice. leave a few pieces of eggplant for the end.

Lay the rest in the following order.

Chicken, onion, rice on top, and remaining eggplant.

This might seem weird but find a bowl and lay it face down on top of the last row in the pot. Pour the broth (about 2 cups of liquid total) from the chicken you just made over the top of the bowl.

Place cover on the pot and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.


I never imagined in a million years that I would ever make Makluba. Once you have the spices, I would separate my items. I would mix the loose spices (even make double for next time!). Have the plates ready on the counter for when you lay the eggplant and chicken.

Taste the broth before you pour it over the ingredients. Make sure salt is just right and anything else it might be missing is added.

Funny story, I just noticed I’ve been mispronouncing Cardomom. The first time writing it down and the red line pointed out to me that it was NOT cardomEN it is CardomOM. Why didn’t I notice this??  haha

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern