Upside Down (Maqloobeh)

Recipe by baraahnz
READY IN: 2hrs




  • 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.