Chicken Maqluba

Chicken Maqluba 

With all the overwhelming news around, I have been feeble and weak just by glancing through the images of the inhuman and brutal acts of the Israeli's in Palestine. As a gesture of solidarity, I was contemplating to share the recipe of the delicious Upside Down Chicken and Rice, which is one of the most cooked meals in Palestin#.
Ps: If keeping mum would have helped Palestine in any way, I would have definitely done the same. Spread awareness, be it any sort of page, with minimal to millions of followers. Spread love and not hate. This isn't about religion. This is about humanity.
Educate yourself and be the change. Raising our voices for them, boycotting Israel products and keeping the innocent souls in our duaa is the least we can do. But remember, they are the most powerful weapons, so don't ever undermine them.
In honor of Palestinian's rich culture and heritage, I present to you MAQLOUBA, which is a Levant dish that has its origins from Palestine too.
Years ago when my sister made this, we weren't quite fond of it. Later I deleveloped a liking towards it, over the years, when I prepared it the Way I wanted it. This is a rice dish where you can use any of your favorite vegetables. Though brinjal/eggplant is commonly and initially used, gradually all sorts of veggies were added which includes Cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, eggplants, onion, tomato etc. 

Maqluba means 'upside down'. It is a beautiful upside down rice that is not only beautiful but delicious too..a pot dish with layers of veggies, rice and chicken. The way the veggies sit on the rice when you flip the casserole onto a platter is truly spectacular.
A beautiful dish where families gather around to relish at least every week in Palestine. While I share Palestinian's most popular rice dish, Maqluba, I sincerely make duaa (prayers), and I hope Palestinians get victory from all the inhuman practices, genocide and all sufferings they have been going through since 73 years. 
Without further a do, let's get started. 


  • 1kg chicken
  • 3 glass Basmati rice
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste (6 cloves garlic and 1 inch ginger) 
  • 1/2 small green Capsicum, chopped finely
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 Clove
  • 3 tsp Arabic Masala Powder *
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder 
  • Salt, as required 
  • 1 large potato, sliced
  • 1 aubergine/eggplant, sliced 
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 non ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cups Basmati rice (preferably soaked for 30 minutes before cooking for longer grains) 
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp arabic masala powder
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp water 

Instructions :

  1. In a large casserole, pour some oil and ghee and add in your chopped onions, add salt and cook until translucent. 
  2. Next add in your chopped Capsicum, ginger garlic paste and saute well until raw smell disappears. 
  3. Next place in your chicken pieces, sprinkle the arabic spices masala, add in salt and pepper * and Turmeric if required. 
  4. Pour in water. 
  5. Close the lid and allow for the chicken to cook well for around 20-25 minutes. 
  6. Whislt the chicken gets done, fry each of your chopped vegetables in batches and set them aside. Sprinkle salt over the fried veggies. 

  7. Once done, drain the chicken pieces, reserve 1/2 cup of stock and set aside. 
  8. Now in the chicken broth, add in your cleaned, soaked and drained rice, add salt as required and cook on low for around 10 minutes. (the rice will cook completely once layered and cooked on low) 
  9. To prepare the tomato gravy for the rice, in a small pan, add your tomato paste, salt, pepper, arabic masala powder, oil and water and allow to come to a boil. 
  10. Once done, mix it into the cooked rice. 
  11. Now let's assemble and layer the Maqluba. Into your large casserole, start by adding your fried potatoes as the base and building up with any of the fried veggies. 
  12. Layer your cooked chicken pieces. 
  13. Next add a layer of cooked rice mixed with the tomato gravy. 
  14. And add any leftover veggies and finish off with a layer of rice and gently run the back off your spatula over the rice (do not press) and pour the reserved chicken stock, close lid and allow to cook for at least 20-25 minutes. 
  15. Now for the moment of reveal, place a rice platter or a large plate over the casserole and flip the casserole carefully and tap around the casserole using a wooden spoon, so that all remains of the Maqluba falls into the plate. 
  16. Carefully remove the casserole slowly, so that the layers remain intact and you get to witness a beautiful Maqluba. 

Notes :

* To make Homemade Arabic Masala Powder :
In a pan, dry roast 2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cardamom, and 1 dried lemon (torn by hand) and once the spices have roasted well, switch off flame, set aside to cool and add 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder. Once the spices have cooled, grind well to fine powder and store in a air tight container in a cool and dry place. Can be used until 1 month and can be used for 3 months if stored in the fridge. 

* You may marinate the chicken pieces with salt and pepper before cooking. 
 * I usually like to use Cauliflower and potatoes mainly for the dish, but since I had no Cauliflower with me, I prepared with whatever I had in hand. 
* I have prepared makluba using half cooked rice, you may cook raw rice in the process, just add 2 cups of water for 1 glass of rice instead of 1 and half cups of water. 

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

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