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Maklooba- A Traditional Middle Eastern Dish

Updated on August 25, 2012

Is This a Meal You Would Like To Try?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Maklooba

Don't be intimidated!

Maklooba, which literally translates to "Flipped" or "Upside Down" in arabic, is a meal that the whole family can enjoy. It can be served on a tuesday night, or for family gatherings. You have probably scrolled down by now and seen the cook time and the number of steps taken to make Maklooba. I know it may seem like a long process, but honestly the time is consumed mostly with the frying of the vegetables. This is a pretty simple recipe, that will give you great feedback from your family. This recipe may seem a little confusing but just take it one step at a time and don't forget to FLIP it at the end!!

Finished Maklooba ready to be served!
Finished Maklooba ready to be served! | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 55 min
Yields: Serves 6-8 people


  • 1 Whole Cut up Chicken
  • 3.5 cups Rice
  • 1 Head Cauliflower, Chopped
  • 5 Large Carrot Sticks, Peeled and Chopped
  • 2 Potatoes, Peeled and Sliced
  • 2 Cubes Maggi (Chicken Broth)
  • 1-2 Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • AllSpice
  • Cumin

Lets Get Started

  1. First I like to place the 3.5 cups of rice into a bowl and cover with water, this will make it easier to cook the rice later on. Let it sit and soak while preparing the chicken.
  2. Then, clean the chicken and discard of all the extra fat (extra skin). When whole cut up chicken is clean, season it with AllSpice, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper.
  3. Place entire cut up, seasoned chicken into a large pot, add 2 cubes of Maggi (chicken broth), and fill with water to the top (leaving about an inch and a half from the top). Bring to a boil and let boil about 5 min. DO NOT pour out the chicken broth, we will use it later.
  4. While the chicken is on the stove, start chopping and slicing all of the vegetables. Start with cutting up the cauliflower and then place it gently into the frying pan with hot vegetable oil (note: make sure the oil is hot by dropping in one piece of cauliflower, if it sizzles it's hot enough. If not, then give it another min before putting in the rest, as you do not want to make your veggies soggy and greasy.).
  5. While the cauliflower is frying, continue to peel and slice the potatoes. Do not slice too thin or they will be too crispy after frying. If the cauliflower has a nice golden hue, carefully remove from the frying pan, and place it on a paper towel in a dish (the paper towel will soak up some of the extra grease from the oil). Now place the sliced up potatoes into the frying pan.
  6. While the potatoes are frying... you guessed it... peel and chop the carrots and prepare them for their trip to the frying pan. When the potatoes reach a golden brown color, remove them and place on a dry paper towel in a dish as well. Then fry up the carrots!! When they are soft, remove them and place them on a paper towel in a plate too!
  7. Ok, so now we have some soggy rice, boiled chicken, and fried vegetables right? The next step is to slice up a couple of tomatoes and place them at the bottom of a deep cooking pot (the rounder the pot the better: See in photo at bottom). The tomatoes serve as a buffer for the chicken (which will be placed on top of the slices of tomatoes), as we dont want burnt chicken because we will be putting it back on the stove.
  8. So now you have laid the chicken pieces on top of the tomatoes so that the bottom of the round pot is completely covered with chicken. Next, spread out the fried carrots, fried cauliflower, and fried potatoes over the chicken.
  9. Next comes the rice. No, we haven't forgotten about the rice!! If there is any excess water still on the rice, pour it out and spread the rice over the chicken and vegetable mixture. Try to completely cover it all with the rice.
  10. Ok, this may sound weird, but trust me. Find a microwavable safe small plate and place on top of the rice. Now, pour that chicken broth you saved from boiling the chicken very slowly over the rice. The plate will help to keep the chicken and veggies at the bottom of the pot. With out the plate most of the time everything will just float to the top.
  11. So, now that the chicken broth is covering the rice by about half of an inch or so, cover the pot and place on stove with about medium heat. After about 20 min check the water level. Usually it will take anywhere between 30-40 min for the water to disappear, depending on your stove.
  12. When all of the water in the pot is gone, take it off of the stove. Make sure you are wearing your cooking Gloves (or mittens, not sure what everyone calls them? Just keep your hands safe!). Remove the plate that is laying on top of the rice and place into the sink.
  13. Okay here's the tricky part! Take the cover off of the pot and place a wide flat pan over the pot. Place one hand on the bottom of the pot and one on top of the flat pan (this is going to take some muscle and coordination. If you dont have it, ask for help from someone who does!) and as carefully as you can flip it over.
  14. Bang on the top of the pot a few times incase anything is sticking. Then carefully remove the pot and your Maklooba should look like the picture at the top of the page!!

Maklooba is a great family meal that all will love! Serve it with a chopped tomato and cucumber salad (seasoned with a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt), or a side of "All-Natural Plain Dannon Yogurt". Enjoy!!

Deep Round Pot
Deep Round Pot | Source


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    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Om Paramapoonya- It's very easy to make, I actually made it for dinner last night! My family loves it and I'm sure you will too! Let me know how it turns out :) Thanks for the votes !

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      What an interesting dish! It sounds yummy and pretty easy to make. I've been to a couple Middle Eastern restaurants but never saw this dish on their menus. Voted up and bookmarked! I'll try making my own Maklooba some day!

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Maheshpatwal- Wow that's interesting... I love trying new foods from different countries! Glad you liked the recipe and thank you for the information :)

    • maheshpatwal profile image

      maheshpatwal 5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Nora.. maklooba looks so tasty and delicious. It is more or less similar to what we call "Biryaani" in india which is travelled to india from middle eastern countries when mughals came to india in 1500 century.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Sweetie1, Thank you so much for the support and sharing my recipe!! I really appreciate it! Glad you found it a useful dish :)

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 5 years ago from India

      Hi Nora,

      This looks wonderful dish and I have passed it to my friend indian chef who posts recipes on hubpages. voting it useful and up.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Hi Alocsin! Yes this dish is more of a family meal than a restaurant type meal. It has a lot of steps but is very simple to put together, I hope you can get the family cook to give it a try :) Thank you for the votes!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've never seen this dish before at Middle Eastern restaurants. It looks too complex for me to try but the family cook should have no problem with it. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks! It's a great family meal :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow!! Really good recipe. the idea of it being 'flipped' is genius!

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thank you so much teach! Its delicious too! I would love to get feedback from people who try it out :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is a great way to serve traditional ingredients with flare! I love the idea and it would make for interesting dinner conversations. Voted way up for creativity and cultural interest.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thank you for your support fellow hubbers!! Jack I think your dish will come out delicious! Its a very simple meal just a lot of components :) let me know how it works out for ya!

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      I voted up and rated that dish 5.

    • JakeFrost profile image

      Jake Frost 5 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Hmm, I might just have to give this a go.

      Very good instructions here and I hope my version will turn out okay.

      Well done. Voted up!