Palestinian Maqluba Recipe


Palestinian Maqluba, meaning “upside-down” in Arabic, is a traditional Levantine dish that’s cherished for its comforting flavors and stunning presentation. Layers of fragrant rice, tender meat, and caramelized vegetables are carefully arranged in a pot, then flipped upside down to reveal a beautiful mosaic of colors and textures. Follow this step-by-step recipe to recreate this beloved Palestinian dish in your own kitchen.

Palestinian maqluba recipe


  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 pound bone-in chicken pieces (such as thighs or drumsticks)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and brown them on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
  4. In the same pot, arrange the sliced potatoes in an even layer at the bottom. Then layer the sliced tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, and carrots on top of the potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle half of the minced garlic over the vegetables, then season with half of the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  6. Place the browned chicken pieces on top of the vegetable layer in the pot.
  7. Drain the soaked rice and layer it evenly over the chicken, pressing down gently with a spatula to compact the layers.
  8. Pour the chicken or vegetable broth over the rice, ensuring that it covers the rice completely.
  9. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed.
  10. Once cooked, remove the pot from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  11. To serve, carefully invert the pot onto a large serving platter, allowing the Maqluba to unmold onto the platter in one piece.
  12. Garnish the Maqluba with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired, and serve hot.

Enjoy your authentic Palestinian Maqluba with yogurt or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal!

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