Arabic chicken, cauliflower, potato and rice - Malooba

    3 hours

    Maqluba is a traditional Palestinian dish, and it means "upside down chicken." It's quite a long recipe, but if you try it, you will be rewarded. Serve with natural yogurt and a salad on the side.

    53 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 (1.8kg) whole chicken, cut into pieces
    • 1.5 litres water
    • 1 medium onion, quartered
    • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 3 whole cardamom seeds
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 460g uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained
    • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large potato, sliced into rounds
    • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
    • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:3hr 

    1. Place chicken in a large saucepan with 1.5 litres water, onion, 2 tablespoons allspice, ground cardamom, cardamom seeds, whole cloves and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, and cook until chicken is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken, pass through a sieve and reserve broth.
    2. Soak the rice in water while waiting for the chicken to cook. When the chicken is almost done, drain the water off and stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of allspice.
    3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the potatoes and cauliflower in the hot oil until browned. They do not need to fully cook.
    4. In a separate pot, layer fried potatoes on the bottom. This is done so that the rice will not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the cauliflower and tomatoes; sprinkle a handful of rice over the vegetables. Remove the bones from the chicken and place the chicken in the saucepan. Cover with the rest of the rice. Pour in the reserved stock until it reaches a level about 1.2cm above the level of the rice. Cover the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour, until rice is tender.
    5. When the liquid has absorbed, have a large round tray ready. Uncover the saucepan and place the tray over the top. Invert so that the pan is upside down on top of the tray. Let stand for 5 minutes like this, then slowly remove the pot to let the food fall onto the tray.


    You may substitute 1 large aubergine for cauliflower or use both. Slice aubergine in rounds on the larger pieces cut in half. If using aubergine with the cauliflower, add it to the pot along with the cauliflower.

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    Reviews in English (24)


    This is a great all in one meal. It smells wonderful while it's cooking. Put it on a fancy platter and it looks beautiful. It is really simple to make.  -  18 Dec 2002  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    My Jordanian husband makes this all the time. I don't care for the chicken with bones so he uses boneless skinless chicken breast and just reduces the boiling time. He also uses a pinch of saffron while soaking the rice... it gives it a nice flavor.  -  17 Jun 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Thanks so much for submitting this recipe. I am a newly converted American muslim, and I have tasted and seen this dish prepared by other muslims. Its nice to have my own recipe now. Thank you!  -  11 Mar 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)