Recipe courtesy of Fardos, Fardos’s Kitchen
Fardos Hazem Alaghbar of Fardos’s Kitchen is a cook, baker & photographer with a passion for Middle Eastern food. We love how she experiments with traditional dishes we are familiar with, by also doing them in a new unique way. She shares recipes for not only Middle Eastern cuisine but other cuisines as well. We appreciate the beautiful details in her food photography, too!
When mentioning the Palestinian cuisine, the first thing comes in mind is Maqluba; either with eggplant or cauliflower or both of them.
And I’m almost certain that it is the most popular recipe on every Palestinian dining table especially in Fridays ; when all family members gather on lunch. To the extent that it is counted one important part of the Palestinian hospitality until the moment, as my grandmother approved it in her saying that :” if you have a dear guest that you want to please, just serve him Maqlouba”.
Talking about the naming of this recipe which came from the way it has been served, Hence Maqluba is the Arabic word for ” upside-down” .Some people prefer it with meat, while others prefer chicken, it can be even cooked without meat for a vegetarian choice. Imagine how the different ingredients create a multi textured bite; creamy eggplants, tender potatoes, soft tomatoes and the aromatic rice, all stacked in layers. When the time of serving you simply flip the pot upside down and usually presented on a wide flat serving platter.
By time, Maqluba has been spread all over the Levant area and become one of the traditional oriental dishes. Due to this widespread, we have got many different versions of Maqluba, depending on the region as well as the seasonal vegetables available in markets. Therefore, we have got Maqluba made of Cauliflower and broad beans in spring time and some families in my hometown Nablus would prepare it of Gundelia* during its season as well.
After collecting extra information from both of my Grandmothers, I had known that the original recipe calls only for eggplant as a prime ingredient besides the chicken, chickpeas and rice. Other additional ingredients returns to the comfort of each family and stems from personal preferences. By time these additions have become essential components in Maqluba.