Recipe from Joe Duffy’s new TV show 'Spirit Level' on RTÉ One, Sundays at 1.10pm. Makloubeh means ‘upside down’. When it is cooked, it is turned upside down and served on a platter. A chicken, aubergine and rice dish which originates from Southern Syria.


  • 1 chicken
  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 potatoes
  • 0.5 red pepper
  • 0.5 yellow pepper
  • 1 large pinch of sumac
  • 1 large pinch of dried cinnamon
  • 1 large pinch of paprika
  • 1 large pinch of cardoman seeds
  • 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 cup Basmati Rice


  • To prepare chicken stock:
  • 1 carrot, chopped into chunks
  • 1 onion cut into 4
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • A few twists of Black pepper
  • Put chicken, carrot, onion, cloves & pepper in a big saucepan, cover with water. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and cook for 25 mins. Remove chicken. Strain the stock and set aside.
  • Cut chicken into large pieces. Half fry the pieces in a frying pan with hot oil. Remove and place on kitchen paper.
  • Makloubeh
  • Peel Aubergines, leaving skin on one side & sprinkle with salt
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a big pan until hot. Fry Aubergines, cauliflower, peppers and potatoes until half cooked ( still firm). Remove them and dry on kitchen paper.
  • In a large saucepan,fry the chopped onions until they are soft and translucent in colour.
  • Add 1 cup of rice per person and 1 ½ cups of chicken stock( Rinse the rice in a colander before cooking).
  • Add all the spices, Sumac, Cardoman seeds, peppercorns, Nutmeg, Ground Cinnamon,Paprika
  • Keep stirring until they are all integrated.
  • Layer the vegetables on top, followed by the chicken pieces.
  • Put the lid on and leave to cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Take a large flat serving plate and hold it over the top of the sauce-pan. Taking great care,
  • Turn the saucepan upside down and tip the contents onto the plate.
  • All the ingredients should be in colourful layers.
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Ingredients
  • Cucumber chopped
  • 1 carton of Greek Yoghurt
  • Fresh mint and dry mint.
  • ½ clove Crushed garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  • Method: Chop cucumber, add Greek yogurt, dry mint, fresh mint, crush garlic clove and chop it. Splash of olive oil. Mix it all together.


Serve the Cucumber Salad as an accompaniment to the Makloubeh.