This traditional Palestinian dish is spelled differently throughout the levant: Maqluba, Maqlooba, Makloubi, Maglooba, Magloubeh are all variations of the words ‘upside down’ in Arabic. This is typically served for the family at the weekend and won’t fail to impress.
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 60-70 minutes.
Ingredients (serves 4 people)
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 1 cauliflower chopped into florets
- 2 aubergines sliced
- 1 courgette sliced
- 1 white onion choped
- 1 large cup of basmati rice
- 8 garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 cup of chopped coriander or parsley
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 2 tsp. seven spices
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roasted sliced almonds or pine nuts (optional)
Preparation and Cooking
- Wash the basmati rice well and drain. Soak the rice in warm water with 1 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper for 30 minutes, then drain.
- Peel and cut the eggplant into 1cm thick horizontal slices. Proceed to chop the cauliflower into large florets and slice the courgette into 1cm slices.
- In a deep saucepan, fry the cauliflower florets and eggplant slices until brown. Place the fried vegetables on a plate with paper towels to absorb off any excess oil.
- In the same pan, heat the almond pieces and pine nuts then set aside.
- Place chicken into a pot and cover with water. Add in an onion chopped into quarters, the bay leaves the 7 spices mix and cook until chicken is done (approx 10 minutes).
- Remove the chicken, cut into pieces and season with salt and 7 spices, saving the broth for later in a bowl.
- In a large pot, layer the eggplant and cauliflower florets at the bottom, then add the chicken pieces as a third layer followed by the courgette slices and garlic cloves.
- Spread the chopped coriander or parsley on top and then arrange the strained, uncooked rice over it all.
- Put a plate on top of the rice to place some pressure on the dish.
- Add some salt, pepper, and additional turmeric powder, seven spices and cumin powder to the chicken stock, and then pour enough on top of the chicken-veggie pile until it just covers the rice by about 1cm.
- Cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes, then cover and simmer on low for 40-45 minutes.
- When the rice is fully cooked and the water has evaporated, switch off the heat and let the pot cool.
- Flip the pot onto a serving plate that is larger than the pot and carefully remove the pot leaving your Palestinian perfection for everyone to admire.
- Serve with garlic, cucumber and mint yogurt.