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!
- 4 chicken legs (or 1 whole chicken cut into pieces two breasts and two legs)
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons baharat (mixed savoury spice) or 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 7 cups water
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 4 cups medium-grain uncooked rice
- 1⁄2 cup cooked canned whole chickpeas
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
- natural plain yogurt (200g small pot per person)
- Place rice in a bowl and leave until grains are white, about 1/2 hr (this step is not necessary).
- Rinse rice until water is clear and then leave to drain in colander.
- Dice onion and fry until golden with first amount of oil in a medium-large size saucepan.
- Add chicken and brown.
- Add 8 cups water and mix.
- Add 1 teaspoon of mixed savoury spices and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cook for one hour.
- While the chicken is cooking, fry pieces of cauliflower with second measurement of oil.
- Fry until golden (well-cooked) but not burnt.
- Put aside.
- When chicken is ready, sieve stock into bowl and remove the chicken pieces.
- Coat with pinches of salt and mixed spices.
- Brown under grill.
- Get a medium sized pot.
- (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.
- Place chicken pieces face down in saucepan (be careful that the rice remains below the chicken).
- Place cauliflower pieces into saucepan, pressing it into the holes left by the chicken.
- Add chickpeas in the same way.
- Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of spices and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Add rice and spread evenly.
- Carefully and slowly pour the chicken stock on top to cover rice.
- Cook on stove-top until rice is cooked.
- Quickly flip the saucepan upside down onto a large serving tray (preferably round).
- Rub and cool down top of pot with a wet cloth.
- Carefully remove the pot, trying not to let the Upside Down collapse! (Don't worry if it does, it happens even to the experts!).
- 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.
- Eat with small bowls of yoghurt.
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.
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.
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.