Upside Down (Maqloobeh)

Total Time
2hrs
Prep
30 mins
Cook
1 hr 30 mins

This is a classic and probably one of the most famous Palestinian dishes. Everybody loves it! This is a standard in all Palestinian homes. It's also an innovative and different way to cook--a fun thing to cook when you're having guests over! Upside Down (translation of its Arabic name, Maqloobeh) is made in a variety of ways. It can be made with either chicken or lamb but my husband's family only makes it with chicken. Note: This recipe requires a large serving tray/plate, preferably round. The recipe is long but it's simple to make--especially after the first try. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Place rice in a bowl and leave until grains are white, about 1/2 hr (this step is not necessary).
  2. Rinse rice until water is clear and then leave to drain in colander.
  3. Dice onion and fry until golden with first amount of oil in a medium-large size saucepan.
  4. Add chicken and brown.
  5. Add 8 cups water and mix.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of mixed savoury spices and 1 teaspoon salt.
  7. Cook for one hour.
  8. While the chicken is cooking, fry pieces of cauliflower with second measurement of oil.
  9. Fry until golden (well-cooked) but not burnt.
  10. Put aside.
  11. When chicken is ready, sieve stock into bowl and remove the chicken pieces.
  12. Coat with pinches of salt and mixed spices.
  13. Brown under grill.
  14. Get a medium sized pot.
  15. (I recommend a non-stick one. I've tried this in my stainless steel pot however the bottom and sides get too hot so the outsides turn out burnt – so if your pot has a tendency to do the same then don't use that one!) Sprinkle a fine layer of rice on the bottom to prevent the other ingredients from sticking.
  16. Place chicken pieces face down in saucepan (be careful that the rice remains below the chicken).
  17. Place cauliflower pieces into saucepan, pressing it into the holes left by the chicken.
  18. Add chickpeas in the same way.
  19. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of spices and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
  20. Add rice and spread evenly.
  21. Carefully and slowly pour the chicken stock on top to cover rice.
  22. Cook on stove-top until rice is cooked.
  23. Quickly flip the saucepan upside down onto a large serving tray (preferably round).
  24. Rub and cool down top of pot with a wet cloth.
  25. Carefully remove the pot, trying not to let the Upside Down collapse! (Don't worry if it does, it happens even to the experts!).
  26. Traditionally all people eat from the one big tray, each person eating from strictly in front of him, but it can also be served onto plates at the table.
  27. Eat with small bowls of yoghurt.