The maqluba or maqlube is a typical Palestinian dish, better known in the western world, as Arabic paella.

It may not be possible to construct a description in words that do it justice. The combination of flavors and textures of this dish is unmatched by any other. Without detracting from the paellas, the maqluba is unforgettable.


This wonderful dish is very old, and one of its earliest recipes is found in the famous Baghdad cookbook, dating back to the 13th century. Normally, there are many variations of the recipe, in the ways of preparation, and in the ingredients.

What is a Maqluba like?

When trying a maqluba, the combination of ingredients could indeed remind you of the Valencian paella. Since this recipe contains rice, chicken, and vegetables. But only these ingredients are similar.

The presentation of the maqluba is impressive, and it is not for less, since this dish is prepared on festive occasions. The word maqlube means in Arabic (to turn, or turn around), which refers to the final cooking phase, and to the presentation of this dish. The maqluba is, in principle, a turned rice cake.

The maqluba is made in parts. To make a maqluba, you must first prepare the meat. Then, separately, the rice, and finally the fried vegetables. The broth used to cook the meat, in the case of lamb, will be the water that will be used to cook the rice. All these ingredients are arranged in a pot, where the final cooking of the maqluba takes place. Thanks to this cooking, the maqluba is compact, and it is easy to serve it upside down. 


What are the ingredients of maqluba?

Although there are many variations of the recipe, including vegetarian versions, there are some ingredients that are present in almost all maqluba recipes.

  • Rice, long-grain, basmati type. Without a doubt, this is an ingredient that cannot be missing in the maqluba.
  • Meat. Although there are some vegetarian versions of the recipe. It usually contains some type of meat. The meats used are lamb, beef, or poultry meat. It is possible to use only one type of meat or to make some combination of them. For example, chicken and lamb. The most important thing is that the meat is very soft and well-seasoned when assembling the maqluba pot.
  • Vegetables. The most widely used vegetable is aubergine, sliced, fried. There are also variations that use fried cauliflower florets. Or a combination of both, cauliflower and eggplant. On the other hand, tomato and onion are used to flavor the rice broth.
  • The spices. Like all Arabic cuisine, this recipe contains a fine blend of spices known as Ras Al Hanut. Ras Al Hanut contains turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

To prepare this recipe you will need a cake pot, or a pot with metal handles, rice, chicken, aubergines, and spices


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