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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Upside Down (Maqloobeh) Recipe
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    Upside Down (Maqloobeh)

    Upside Down (Maqloobeh). Photo by Sue Lau

    1/1 Photo of Upside Down (Maqloobeh)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    2 hrs

    30 mins

    1 hr 30 mins

    baraahnz's Note:

    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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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Place rice in a bowl and leave until grains are white, about 1/2 hr (this step is not necessary).
    2. 2
      Rinse rice until water is clear and then leave to drain in colander.
    3. 3
      Dice onion and fry until golden with first amount of oil in a medium-large size saucepan.
    4. 4
      Add chicken and brown.
    5. 5
      Add 8 cups water and mix.
    6. 6
      Add 1 teaspoon of mixed savoury spices and 1 teaspoon salt.
    7. 7
      Cook for one hour.
    8. 8
      While the chicken is cooking, fry pieces of cauliflower with second measurement of oil.
    9. 9
      Fry until golden (well-cooked) but not burnt.
    10. 10
      Put aside.
    11. 11
      When chicken is ready, sieve stock into bowl and remove the chicken pieces.
    12. 12
      Coat with pinches of salt and mixed spices.
    13. 13
      Brown under grill.
    14. 14
      Get a medium sized pot.
    15. 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. 16
      Place chicken pieces face down in saucepan (be careful that the rice remains below the chicken).
    17. 17
      Place cauliflower pieces into saucepan, pressing it into the holes left by the chicken.
    18. 18
      Add chickpeas in the same way.
    19. 19
      Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of spices and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
    20. 20
      Add rice and spread evenly.
    21. 21
      Carefully and slowly pour the chicken stock on top to cover rice.
    22. 22
      Cook on stove-top until rice is cooked.
    23. 23
      Quickly flip the saucepan upside down onto a large serving tray (preferably round).
    24. 24
      Rub and cool down top of pot with a wet cloth.
    25. 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. 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. 27
      Eat with small bowls of yoghurt.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on September 07, 2007


      This was one of the first things I learned to make after meeting my husband. I think one of his friends taught me how to make it, because I loved it so much. I too use cauliflower and not eggplant, but eggplant is very common in this dish. This is one of may alltime favorite dishes ... american or arabic. I add fried sliced potatoes to the bottom to prevent sticking but most people do use tomatoes. I also add a pinch of clove to the broth. I always remember the spices as the 4 C's: curry, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. The combination is mild but delicious, I serve it with plain yogurt and chopped tomato salad. Thanks for posting.

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on May 10, 2005


      This is one of our families favorite dishes. Its much easier than it sounds. We serve it with a little plain yogurt and it is so delicious.

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on December 26, 2004


      I have loved this dish ever since having it round an Arab friends house. Always wanted to know how to make it for myself - and now I know!!! I followed the recipe verbatim. It was very, very tasty. I loved it, my husband loved it and my kids loved it. I think next time I wouldn't bother putting the chicken under the grill. Also I would love to try it with the authentic spices baharat. I will be looking in all the supermarkets to see if I can get hold of it. I reckon it will taste even nicer with that. I used 1 whole chicken and 4 mugs of rice, a whole tin of chick peas and whole cauliflower and it made loads!!! Enough for a big dinner party without too much hassle. Love It!!! Thank you for posting the recipe.

      person found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (10)


    Nutritional Facts for Upside Down (Maqloobeh)

    Serving Size: 1 (918 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 1074.7
    Calories from Fat 196
    Total Fat 21.8 g
    Saturated Fat 6.0 g
    Cholesterol 138.6 mg
    Sodium 1410.5 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 167.1 g
    Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
    Sugars 2.3 g
    Protein 45.9 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:


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