Ramadan Recipe Of The Day: 'Upside Down' Palestinian Delicacy, Maqlouba

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 5:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 5:17 PM

For Mariam, who hails from Palestine, Ramadan means Maqlouba.“It literally means upside down and has rice, vegetables and meat,” she said.“It was one of those rare dishes which my father made better than my mom.”

She also recalled how growing up in Abu Dhabi, there were some rituals her family followed during the holy month.“My dad would take us from school and on the first day we'd always go to the Coop,” she said.“The Quran would be playing. We would pick up everything including Jallab, while my mother cooked at home. And on the way, we would stop at this shop called Al Aqsa and queue up for atayef. If you were late, you wouldn't get any atayef. And then we would head home and have Iftar together. Those were some of the best memories of my life.”

She shares the recipe of her father's signature dish:


1 kg lamb

Vegetable oil

1 cinnamon stick

2 pods green cardamom

2 bay leaves

A handful of black peppercorn

2 cloves

1⁄2 tsp turmeric

1 tomato or 4 tbsp tomato paste


1 tsp black pepper

3.5 cups water

For vegetables

2 Eggplants

2 Potatoes

1 onion

Other veggies on hand like carrots, cauliflower and capsicum (optional)


Vegetable oil

For rice

3 cups basmati rice

5.5 cups of meat broth and water

1 tomato

For the garnish

1⁄2 cup pine nuts

Chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 200°C

Cut the vegetables in round slices to about 1⁄2 inch thickness, brush with oil, sprinkle salt and bake them individually for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Wash the meat and sauté it in a pressure cooker in oil for a few minutes before adding the cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, peppercorn, cloves and water. If using tomato instead of tomato paste, add it here. Pressure cook it for 10-15 minutes.

Once the meat is cooked, strain the meat broth. Add to the broth turmeric, salt, pepper and tomato paste (if using). Add water until there is 5.5 cups of liquid.

To prepare the rice, wash the rice and cut the tomatoes in slices.

Now, in a large pan, layer tomatoes, baked veggies, meat and then rice. Pour the stock over the rice to fully immerse it.

Place the put on medium high flame until the water boils. Once it boils, lower the flame and cook for about 50 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

On a large serving tray, flip the pot in a swift motion and wait for the Maqlouba to drop down. Slowly remove the pot and the serve with yoghurt and salad.


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Khaleej Times

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