Palestinian Maqluba Recipe

Palestinian Maqluba is a traditional one-pot dish that translates to “upside-down” in Arabic, reflecting its unique method of preparation. This flavorful and aromatic dish consists of layers of rice, meat (usually chicken or lamb), and vegetables, which are carefully arranged and cooked together before being flipped upside-down for serving. Maqluba is often enjoyed during family gatherings and festive occasions, symbolizing hospitality and celebration in Palestinian culture.

Palestinian Maqluba


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 1.5 lbs lamb)
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Toasted pine nuts (for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Rice:
    • Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. Cook the Chicken:
    • In a large pot, cover the chicken pieces with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
    • Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and spices (cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon). Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes.
    • Remove the chicken, strain the broth, and set both aside.
  3. Fry the Vegetables:
    • In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Fry the eggplant slices until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
    • Fry the potato slices until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
    • Fry the carrot slices until tender. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  4. Assemble the Maqluba:
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, layer the cooked chicken pieces on the bottom.
    • Add a layer of fried eggplant, followed by layers of potatoes and carrots.
    • Spread the drained rice evenly over the top of the vegetables and meat.
    • Carefully pour the strained chicken broth over the rice until it is just covered (about 4 cups).
  5. Cook the Maqluba:
    • Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Flip and Serve:
    • Once cooked, let the pot rest for 10 minutes. Place a large serving platter over the pot and carefully invert the pot to flip the Maqluba onto the platter.
    • Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy your authentic Palestinian Maqluba! This impressive and delicious dish not only brings a rich array of flavors to your table but also connects you to the cultural traditions of Palestine. Perfect for special occasions and family gatherings, Maqluba is a true culinary masterpiece.

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