Palestinian Maqlouba-A Savory Layer “Cake” الفلسطينية

Alright my friends, many of you have asked for it. You got it. The MOTHER of all recipes….right here right now. Palestinian Maqlouba is like no other dish, a one pot meal with drama, artistic expression, and every food group melding into one flavorgasm. Maqlouba in Arabic means literally “upside down,” because this dish is essentially an upside down layer “cake” of savory goodness. The layers consist of seared meat, either lamb of chicken, roasted vegetables, from cauliflower to eggplant, caramelized onions and rice all cooked in a meaty and rich broth. Once cooked the dish is turned upside down at the table in a very dramatic fashion so that diners can witness the art they are about to devour. The maqlouba is then covered with toasted almonds and pine nuts, and divided into bowls with a side of creamy Greek yogurt.



THIS is the comfort food I lived for as a child. I dedicated this cooking video to my grandfather Ibrahim, the debonair and charming man who lived in three piece suits and loved started conversations with strangers to get smiles out of them. Maqlouba was his signature dish when he was entertaining. His home was a sort of grand central station for guests from all over the world, whether a bishop from the Vatican, an ex-Kurdish military colonel, a Jordanian royal,  a Palestinian musician,  a classmate from Egypt–or friends he made on his travels. His maqlouba was filled to the brim with tons of lamb to show respect to his guests. Many years later his memory lives on every time I make this dish. I use chicken instead of lamb because it’s a taste preference in my family, but you can’t go wrong with either.  I am excited to share this traditional family recipe with you, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Are you ready for a taste adventure? Click on the video below 🙂




Ingredients below, Instructions in the video above! 😉

2 1/2       cups jasmine rice

1 ½ pounds lamb chops or dark meat chicken with the bones

Garlic powder

2 large heads cauliflower

2 large onions, sliced (or 3 medium onions)

1 medium onion, diced

5 garlic cloves

¼ of a cinnamon stick

2 tsp allspice, divided

1 tsp turmeric

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbs. Olive oil with extra for brushing cauliflower

1 tbsp  Butter

1 large tomato, sliced


8 ounces Greek yogurt (optional)


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