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Maqluba – Up Side Down (Chicken & Rice)


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Maqluba - Up Side Down (Chicken & Rice)


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Maqluba – Up Side Down (Chicken & Rice)

This is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that I read about and had to try. It works great for Friday night and even for leftovers. It does take a bit of work, but is easier than it sounds. I made it with chicken, but it can be made with meat or lamb and would be amazing.


  • Prep Time : 30 min
  • Cook Time : 40 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 10 min




  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 whole chicken in 1/8ths
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon baharat (spice mix) or curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced and salted
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Fry the chopped onions until soft and add meat, salt & spices. Fry until meat is browned on both sides.  Meanwhile prepare deep pot and sprinkle with a few tablespoons rice. Move chicken and onions into the pot.

In the pan, fry the eggplant and then the cauliflower.  Put on top of the chicken.  Cover with rest of the rice, then pour broth on top and salt and pepper.  (try to arrange some of the eggplant slices on the sides of the pot).  Cover the pot and cook on low for about 40 minutes.   Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Place a large plate on top of the pot and turn it upside down.  Remove pot and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and cilantro.




About Tamar Genger MA, RD


Tamar lives in New York and is the mother of three amazing children, a Registered Dietitian, professor of Nutrition, and as you can probably guess, a foodie! Tamar loves to travel with her family and visits kosher restaurants wherever she goes. Although she loves the sights, she spends more time talking about the restaurants and food she ate! As a mom and a nutritionist, Tamar tries to balance her passion for healthy cooking with her insatiable desire for chocolate!




56 Responses to Maqluba – Up Side Down (Chicken & Rice)

  1. Do you cook the rice before you put it in the pot or does it cook in there?

    • No, you can soak it a bit if desired, but it cooks up in the flavorful broth.

  2. avatar says: karynb

    i make this slightly differently–instead of turmeric and baharat i use cinnamon between each of the layers.i use boneless chicken thighs(pargiyot in hebrew) and i also add a layer of carrots.no cilantro or pine nuts.it is fabulous in the slow cooker for shabbat–the house smells wonderful.great recipe when it is cold outside—and usually i don’t make anythingelse with it—it’s a one pot meal.definately a family favorite in our house.

    • avatar says: tbstone1

      as i didn’t have cauliflower available, i took Karynb’s advice and used carrots, and used her spice combination instead. it was heavenly!

  3. avatar says: rmlazan

    You don’t say when to add the seasonings. I assumed they were mixed into the broth before pouring over the rice.

  4. It doesn’t really matter, you can add it when cooking the chicken or at the end with the broth.

  5. Sorry, I must correct your term “Palestinian” recipe. It would have been more suitable to call it an Arab recipe. There is no Palestine or Palestinians and their cuisine stems from the Arab country which they originated from. Please correct it. I dont like to mix politics with food, but calling it a Palestinian recipe does politicize this.

    • avatar says: Yael

      I agree.

    • I understand this is a topic that is fraught with politics and emotion. You may be interested to know that my Grandfather grew up in Palestine (when under British occupation — you can check his passport) and participated in its liberation to become the State of Israel. I have updated the intro to Middle Eastern to avoid any potential misinterpretation.

      • avatar says: ann

        Oh come on…. Your grandfather was a Palestinian because there was no State of Israel.. Today there is NO Palestine, and those who think there is and call themselves Palestinians are anti-Jewish and anti Zionists. Let’s get to the bottom of this and just apologize. This is a Middle Eastern/Arab

        • Oh stop being mean. She didn’t intend any harm or support for Gaza or the West Bank, et al. Simply put, her grandfather was in Israel before 1948, when it was still called Palestine by the world. A nice pre-1948 recipe it is, and with a touch of early Israeli history. It is so unkind to say she is being anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist just because her head was in a different place when she posted the recipe. And we don’t even know if it’s an “Arab” recipe anyway, because there were ALWAYS Jews in the Land anyway… so CHILL! Arab, Jews… the Land belongs to G-d, and He decided. Let’s live up to that honor. Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner. Thanks for a great recipe. I’ll try it and remember the early pioneers of Israel.

          • Thank you Tamar, for changing it. My father in law was also born in pre-1948 Israel and also had a British passport. However, since names are important, referring to pre-1948 Israel as Palestine gives credence to those who claim Israel as their own. I did not mean disrespect, but it is important to dispel this myth. Again, thanks for changing the name. It looks delicious.

            • No problem, I actually enjoyed the discussion and appreciate everyone’s comments.

              • avatar says: Asldkure

                Hi Tasmar! Just been cooking maqluba out of a wonderful book called Jerusalem and written by 2 guys born and raised in different part of the city, one in a Jewish neighbourhood and the other one in an Arab neighbourhood. They met in their 20′s I think, in London, and became friends and discovered that their respective mothers cooked the same kind of food. Recipes are, luckily, moving around and being adapted, so I guess you will find typed of maqlub as far as Italy, Greece or South of France. No need to ever fight over the name of a recipe or its real origin. Isn’t food supposed to bring people together, rather than separate them? This being said, it’s time for me to go and serve my very first maqlub which my husband and I cooked together. I’ll be back your site smells delicious. Baharat?

        • avatar says: Sawsan

          Okay, wow. Saying that there is no Palestine is like saying that I don’t even exist. Like, I’m just a figment of a historic imagination, and that the territories that my family live on is all imaginary. I could care less about what religion you are or your beliefs but to say that my Palestinian passport that I have issued is a fake then I’m pretty offended and like my money back to have an Israeli passport, oh wait I can’t because I don’t live in Israel and can never go there.

          One more thing, there are a dozen recipes on the internet with country names before the title, Egyptian food, Lebanese this and Syrian that but you’re not saying that those are a political problem.

          To the author of this blog, I’m sorry to post this here, I came for the food but seeing this made my blood boiland couldn’t leave without commenting to this ignorant person.I’m in the middle of cooking it and so far it’s great!

          • avatar says: Marilyn

            Good for you, Sawsan. Peace on Earth

          • avatar says: Sherry

            I agree. Doesnt matter if the name of the country changes, the country stays the same. Palestine will always be Palestine and belong to the Palestinians… even if the zionists ( Israelis as they call themselves) say otherwise

            • avatar says: Maram

              You know… I dont get it. Since the Israelis feel that they have so much heritage…why do they feel the need to put their stamp on our food? I dont mind if people want to explore different cuisine but really? I am Lebanese in America and I love noodle kugel. But I dont deny what it is. Maqlooba is cooked in other middle eastern countries ofcourse but every Arab knows it is Palestinian. The same as Molokhiya is cooked in every arab country every Arab knows it is Egyptian. So enjoy the food thats fine. The other day I saw Israeli version of Arab song Terashrash song on Youtube. Now Maqlooba not palestinian. whats next???

        • avatar says: Sarah

          That is an extremely racist thing to say. Many Jews around the world do not support the Zionists. There is a Palestine and the Zionists destroyed it.

      • avatar says: Mona

        gday Tamer, I have a neighbour who was born in Palestine in the 1930s – it is clearly written on your birth certificate. Although there are some who like to deny the existance of Palestine, it is a state recognised by the UN and many countries around the world. Don’t let the denialists intimidate you and please acknowledge that this is a traditional Palestinian dish. Thanks for your recipe

        • avatar says: robyn

          had to jump in as well. i am a jewish person living in Jordan, and all politics aside i must remind everyone that the TERRITORY (ie the land) has been called palestine since the 12th century BC, regardless of the ethnic background or religion of the people inhabiting it (which, for the record, has always been mixed). political titles come and go, but don’t let your ire get in the way of historical reality. the land has held many names, one of the most ancient of which is palestine, and this recipe originates from that land.

          • Hi Robyn, thanks so much for commenting, you may be our first person from Jordan and we are so happy to have you on the site. We welcome your contributions.

            • avatar says: Robyn

              thanks Tamar. maqlouba is a kind of unofficial national dish of Jordan, since most Jordanians have roots in Palestine, so i’ve had the good fortune of sampling many versions. eggplant and/or cauliflower is definitely the norm, but i’ve also had it with potatoes, if anyone wants to give that a try.

      • avatar says: Yardena

        Its a fact Palestine as we knew the term was coined for the region.
        Arafat hijacked the name to give arabs legitimacy or otherwise they would have been jordanians or egyptians (westbank/gaza)
        True that folks who lived in THEN
        Palestine pre 1948, were all JEWS
        and arabs were arabs.

    • avatar says: Marilyn

      There are Palestinians. The recipe appear on a PBS food show last year and it was called a Palestinian dish. Take it easy Cynthia. Why not delve into the cooking and the recipe.

    • Thanks to those who posted that Palestine is real and Palestinians have and do exist. It just so happens we’re in Jordan this week and had lunch today at the home of a lovely Palestinian family in the Jubal Al Hussein refugee area with a number of other Palestinians. They served this wonderful dish which caused me to Google it so I could bookmark it and make it when I return home to the US. I’m tired of the bullying we face in the US when we support and acknowledge ALL peoples’ heritage and am glad to go home with the experience of the great interactions we are having here and to making this dish. Thanks for the recipe!

    • it is a palestinian recipe – nowhere else in the arab world cooks it- not politics- just food

    • avatar says: nesreen

      It’s 100% Palestenian recipe,even some decent jewish who still live In Palestine know that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. How much fat does this dish have?

  7. avatar says: Cara

    Well this looks really great and I am going to try it really soon! If I can still move after two nights of cooking and standing in the kitchen (I’m 29 weeks pregnant) I’ll try it for next Friday night Shabbos dinner while my mom is visiting. And I’m definitely going to stick some sliced carrots in there too. Thanks!

  8. avatar says: Dolores

    looks good enough to eat

  9. avatar says: edahgal

    I agree with Cynthia 100%. She is entirely correct and we all would appreciate your making this correction. That said, I did make this with chicken for Friday night and it was a delicious Arab dish.

  10. I love hearing about everything from recipes and newletters Please send me everything you can.

  11. This is a traditional Middle Eastern dish This is correct. It is NOT a
    Palestinian dish!!!!

  12. avatar says: Ailuy

    Hi, you’ve mentioned that this dish can be made with different meats, how would I make this with ground lamb?

    Thank you

    • I think you have to use full pieces, like cubes or on the bone lamb or beef, not sure how it would work with ground meat. Only thing is maybe to try and make them into patties first.

  13. Hi firstly amazing dish and simple instructions. Secondly for those who have a problem with calling this dish a ‘Arab dish’ not a Palestinian…. Tell me, did u invent this dish? No…. So keep your comments n pride to yourselves in future. This is a recipe based on food not a nuclear weapon for god sake!

  14. avatar says: lrl5mg;l


  15. avatar says: Marilyn

    Do you “fry” the onions in how much oil? What oil to use? Grapeseed, peanut, olive, canola oil?? Some burn better at high temperatures. What’s traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking.

    • yeah you should use oil, not sure what is authentic, but olive or grapeseed both sound like they might be and would work.

  16. avatar says: Motasem

    This is Palestinian traditional food .

  17. avatar says: ben

    what type of rice???

  18. I’m vegetarian but wish to make this without the meat. I saw this dish being made by Palestinians on an Anthony Bordain show. For those of you who deny the existence of Palestine please get a brain and do some research. Palestine is very real and was there before they invented Israel and occupied it. Saying this doesnt mak me anti semetic it makes me someone who tells the truth and isn’t clouded by some imaginary made up religion. Learn to seperate your religious idiology from hardcore facts. You people want to argue because the Blogger called this a Palestinian dish and that’s probably because you support “Israel”. There are plenty of dishes labeled with the country of origin online so why aren’t you arguin to change those labels? Because it has nothing to do with the labeling but everything to so with a dislike for Palestinians and wanting to erase any trace of them. No wonder there are wars because this world is full of ignorant hateful people.

    • avatar says: cynthia

      The Palestinians are in fact Jordanians who were kicked out by their own government and made to languish in refugee camps on the West Bank of JORDAN, which later became part of Israel won fair and square in the 1967 war. On the subject of history, Israel has always been inhabited by Jews for thousands of years prior to the 1948 establishment of the state. King Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem and G-d granted the Land of the Israel to the Jewish People as an inheritance, according to the Bible. You don’t have to be religious to believe that the Old Testament is true. When the United Nations granted statehood to Israel, it did so on the basis of the Jewish people’s historical and religious claims, rights and connection to the Land of Israel.That is history, not hatred just the truth which has been successfully distorted by those who want to take Israel from their rightful owners, the Jews. I suggest you study history as well and not in a history book written by the PA.

  19. avatar says: diana

    upside down recipe

  20. avatar says: Gabriela

    I agree Palestine does exist. Israel denies the existence of Palestine when it’s convenient but when I visited Israel last year they asked me at ben gurion airport if I was planning on visiting Palestine. Also, Israel bars Palestinians from flying in through ben gurion so if the entire area indeed is Israel they would be denying their own citizens entry. I am not Palestinian or Arab but I had to point this out.

  21. avatar says: Samihah

    Of course palestine exists! Saying anything is Palestinian is not a problem, what because Israelis don’t like it, we all have to pretend palestine is imaginary in case we are accused of anti semitism.
    It is common knowledge that maqluba heralds from Palestine, even though it’s now eaten in many countries.
    Israelis say that falafel is theirs, even though it’s renowned as middle eastern. What are Israelis anyway?
    They’re in the Eurovision song contest, so I guess they’re nog middle eastern, weird that, I wonder if Eurovision would have s singer from gaza to enter? I guess not even though there’s only an illegal apartheid wall marking the distance between them.

  22. avatar says: nesreen

    I am from Palestine and my whole family are too, my parents were born there before 1948 and they remembered clearly how their families were kicked out of their land and were taken away by Israeli soldiers and declared it was theirs,the whole world knows that England took our country and give it to the Israeli immigrants who were scattered all over the world(jewish people).Maqlubah is 100% a palestenian recipe,but u know that’s not the first time zionists or israeli proclaim heritage from Palestine ,they stole our land and now they’re stealing our recipes,too.I am pretty sure that so called Tamar is not even going to bother herself to comment,because i noticed very clearly that she has issues with the Palestenian peaple,she only commenting on people who are like her who don’t believe in the existence of Palestine.

  23. avatar says: J Bart

    I’m eager to make this dish, but I’m confused on a couple points. What does “prepare deep pot” entail? Once you have a whole cut-up chicken in the pot, how do you then manage to fry a sliced eggplant and a cut-up head of cauliflower? Does “fry” mean brown in this case?

    • You will need to use a large frying pan and deep pot for this dish. You will use the large frying pan to brown everything and then you will transfer them to the deep pot. Fry means cook in oil until browned in the pan that is now empty.

  24. avatar says: chetan

    Tamar, Please help me as i dont know abt arab receipe, but i ate this dish in saudi

    how to make broth? should we boil the same chicken bfr frying . or any other source.

    • The easiest way is to buy the broth, but if you want to make your own I don’t recommend using the same chicken that you will use in this dish, just make a big batch of broth and use it for several dishes.

      • avatar says: chetan

        Thanks for reply.. for how many day this broth will useful?
        should i need to add any preservative

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