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Chicken maqlooba (upside down rice) - مقلوبة الدجاج

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For the maqlooba
  • 1 large aubergine, thinly sliced (keep skin on)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 0.5 cup vegetable oil (for frying) - add more or less accordingly
  • 1 green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 baby chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
For spice mix 1
  • 0.5 tbsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp thai 7 spices
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp cardamom powder
For spice mix 2
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cooking Time
    45 mins
  • Serving
    Serves 7
  • Skill Level
    Not that bad


Maqlooba is the arabic word for upside down :) The reason you will soon find out...
  1. Place the aubergine in layers at a time into a colander, with a bowl underneath, and put salt on each layer, and set aside for 30 minutes 
  2. In a pan with around 1/2 cm vegetable oil, fry the potatoes until light brown, then place onto kitchen tissue to drain
  3. Fry the pepper, and drain as above, followed by the cauliflower too
  4. Pat dry the aubergines, using kitchen tissue paper, then fry and drain as above
  5. Meanwhile, place the butter in a pot over medium heat and allow the butter to melt
  6. Add the onions and fry. When the onions start to go transparent, add the chicken pieces
  7. When the chicken is sealed, sprinkle the spices from spice mix 1 and stir to coat
  8. Add enough boiling water to cover the chicken, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes
  9. Meanwhile, soak the basmati rice for 10 minutes then drain, once drained add spice mix 2 and mix gently
  10. Once the chicken has simmered, remove it and place the chicken on a plate
  11. Now it is time to assemble the masterpiece. Place a handful of rice in the bottom of a pot.
  12. Add the chicken pieces on top, followed by the aubergines, pepper, cauliflower and then the potatoes
  13. Add the remaining rice on top, then pour the chicken stock over the rice (for every 1 cup of rice is 1.5 cups of chicken stock)
  14. Cover and cook on low heat for 45 minutes. Check to ensure the rice has cooked. Turn off the heat and leave covered for a further 5 mins
  15. Remove the cover, place the serving dish ontop of the pot. Whilst firmly holding the serving dish and pot, quickly turn the pot and serving dish upside down. Slowly remove the pot to reveal your upside down rice

And this is exactly why this dish is called maqlooba, because the final product is upside down :) This can be served with salad or greek yoghurt, or eaten plain, because whatever you do with it, it will still taste delicious!!! Enjoy :)


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