By Food E Fare

Maqluba, also spelled Makloubeh or Maqlouba, is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that translates to "upside-down" in Arabic. The name reflects the cooking method and presentation of the dish. Maqluba is a one-pot dish that typically includes meat, vegetables, and rice cooked together, and it is then flipped upside down before serving, creating a visually appealing layered presentation. Here's a basic recipe for Chicken Maqluba:


For the Chicken and Marinade:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Rice and Vegetables:

  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For Assembly:

  • Pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped


Marinate the Chicken:

  • In a bowl, mix the chicken pieces with yogurt, minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Fry the Vegetables:

  • In a deep pan or pot, heat cooking oil. Fry the eggplant and potato slices until golden brown. Remove and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Sauté Onions:

  • In the same pan, sauté the thinly sliced onions until they become translucent.

Layer the Ingredients:

  • Arrange the fried eggplant and potato slices in the bottom of the pot, creating an even layer. Place the marinated chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Add sliced tomatoes on top of the chicken.

Cook the Rice:

  • In a separate pot, parboil the soaked and drained basmati rice. The rice should be partially cooked, not fully done.

Assemble Maqluba:

  • Carefully layer the partially cooked rice on top of the chicken and vegetables in the pot. Press down gently.


  • Cover the pot and cook over low heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked, and the rice is tender.

Flipping (Inverting):

  • Once cooked, place a large serving platter over the pot and carefully invert the maqluba onto the platter. The rice will be on the bottom, and the chicken and vegetables will be on top.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish the inverted maqluba with toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds and chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.

Serve Warm:

  • Maqluba is traditionally served warm, with a side of yogurt or a simple salad.

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