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Cauliflower Maqloobeh

مقلوبة زهرة

Maqloobeh, which literally translates to upside down, can be made in so many different ways. This recipe is specifically for Chicken and Cauliflower Maqloobeh. There are so many combinations of meat and vegetables: chicken, beef, or lamb, combined with eggplant and tomatoes, cauliflower and potatoes, or green fava beans. Every family has their own favorite combination, but let me tell you, they're all super delicious! 


My personal favorite combination is chicken with cauliflower and potato maqloobeh. You begin by frying the vegetables, then cooking them with the chicken and rice. The majority of the flavor comes from the chicken broth. 

I prefer to add all of the spices to the chicken while I'm cooking it. It gives such a wonderful depth of flavor to the chicken broth. I combine onions, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, black pepper, all spice and cloves and add them to the chicken. Wow! The spices create a fragrant broth. I reserve this broth to cook the rice in.  

The only other spices I add at the end is sweet or 7-spice and safflower. If you don't have safflower, you can substitute it with turmeric. 

Once you read the recipe, it may sound a bit overwhelming, but it's not difficult at all. 

Let me lay it out for you in a few simple steps: soak the rice, cook the chicken, fry the veggies then combine! 

First, evenly spread the vegetables. Next, top with the chicken. Then add the rice. The last step before cooking everything together: add the chicken broth that's been strained. Do you see how beautiful the color is??


Serve with a side salad and some yogurt. Sahtain!

Cauliflower Maqloobeh

مقلوبة زهرة

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 2 hours​


8 pieces of chicken

1/2 of an onion, cut in half 

3 bay leaves 

8 whole cardamom 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 whole clove 

4 whole black pepper 

6 whole all spice 

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets 

1-2 Russet potatoes, cut into 1" cubes 

2 cups Egyptian, or short grain, rice 

2.5 teaspoons salt 

1 tablespoon safflower (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric) 

1.5 teaspoon sweet or 7-spice 

3 tablespoons ghee 

4 cups reserved chicken broth

Oil for frying 


1) Rinse the rice and then soak the rice in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

2) In a large pot, add chicken, onion, bay leaves, whole cardamom, cinnamon stick, clove, black pepper, and all spice. Cover with water. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Skim off the white foam that rises to the top of the water. Once the chicken is fully cooked through, set aside chicken and strain the broth through a sieve. Reserve 4 cups of the chicken broth and set aside. 

3) While the chicken is cooking, fry your cauliflower and potatoes until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. 

4) In a large pot, begin assembling your ingredients. To the bottom of the pot, add the cauliflower and potatoes. Next, add the cooked chicken. Then, top with the rice. 

5) In a medium pot on medium heat, add your reserved chicken broth (from the chicken you cooked), salt, safflower, sweet spice and ghee. Let it come to a boil. 

6) Place your pot containing the rice, cauliflower and chicken on medium heat. Place a mesh strainer or sieve over your pot.


7) Pour the chicken broth through the sieve. Cover your pot and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat, lowering the heat to medium-low for the last 5 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice. 

8) Remove maqloobeh from heat. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. 

9) When ready to serve, place large round serving dish on top of pot and flip. Serve as is, or top with toasted pine nuts, almonds, or parsley. 


- You can easily replace the chicken with beef or lamb - it'll still be just as delicious. 

- For every 1 cup of Egyptian rice, you will need 2 cups of broth. 

- If you prefer to bake the cauliflower and potatoes, you can place them on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400*F, until golden brown. 

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