Cauliflower, Beef & Rice: Middle Eastern Top Rice

This is one of those comfort foods your grandmother made when you were a kid. In my family, I had only one grandparent living, and she was a great cook. She came over to U.S. from Lebanon and brought with her many amazing middle eastern dishes. Most of them had rice as the staple starch. The this day, I love just about any rice dish, but of course I don’t usually pass up pasta, potatoes and fresh-baked bread either. This recipe was called Top Rice, because you flip the pot upside down and have the beef and cauliflower sitting on top of the rice.

Middle Eastern Top Rice

Cauliflower Beef and Rice Platter ~ Middle Eastern Top Rice ~

As you can see I haven’t quite got the hang of the perfect looking top rice. Mine tends to topple a little after coming out of the pot.

Top Rice aerial ~ Middle Eastern Top Rice ~

The color comes from adding a little ground turmeric to the water. This is something we were taught to do for any rice dish. I don’t think it makes much of a flavor difference, but it looks good, and with all the health benefits I’ve been reading about turmeric, I figure it can’t hurt.

Though my top rice doesn’t look perfect, it really does taste great. So, if you like the idea of beef, cauliflower and rice you should definitely give it a try it.


Middle Eastern Top Rice

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 pound top round steak cut into small pieces or ground beef/lamb
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into 2 inch florets
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • <span class="mceItemHidden" data-mce-bogus="1"><span></span>dash of turmeric</span>


  1. In a heavy saucepan, brown beef and onions in olive oi.
  2. Add cinnamon, salt and pepper
  3. Add cauliflower and let brown for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add rice.
  5. Mix turmeric with 2 1/4 cups water.
  6. Add water to saucepan
  7. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low for about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat for a few minutes.
  9. Remove lid and cover with a large plate.
  10. Quickly turn upside down and unmold onto the plate.

This recipe for cauliflower beef and rice is a great one pot comfort food meal. A Middle Eastern dish also known as Top Rice.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Marie H says:

    Oh, this sounds so yummy. I love the color that turmeric adds. I once made chicken pot pie from scratch. My gravy looked a little lackluster; so I thought, ummm, turmeric. That was the most virulent yellow gravy I’ve every made. LOL Light touch is all you need!

    I haven’t been reading long enough to know your background. Lebanese or middle eastern foods are one of my favorites. In the Detroit area we have so many great places to go out for yummy meals. One of my favorite dishes is Mejedra. Do you have a recipe for it?

    • Hi Marie,

      I’m not fan of lentils so I’m sorry to say that I do not have a recipe for Mejedra. My father was Lebanese and his mother used to have us over for dinner every Wednesday. I’d say 95% of the dishes she made were middle eastern. All delicious. My mother was Irish and German decent but loved to cook, and learned how to make a lot of middle eastern dishes from my grandmother and aunt. Unfortunately they are all gone now and though I have learned how to cook a handful of dishes I wish they were still here.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. Hi Patti-
    I found your recipe by googling and it looks delicious. I’m wondering how much salt and pepper you use. I look forward to making it, thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jen,

      You know it’s one of those pinch of this kind of things. Probably about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
      Of course you can always add a little more at the table.
      So glad to hear that you are going to try it. It’s delicious and if you are patient (I’m not) you just might be able to un-mold it from the pot to display a beautiful dish.
      Thanks for stopping by,

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