Ma’loobeh, which literally translates to “flipped” in English, is a staple in Palestinian culture. It comes together when rice, vegetables, and meat or chicken are layered in a pot, cooked in a flavored broth, and flipped onto a tray before serving.

If I could, I’d eat ma’loobeh every day. It’s everything my body needs—carbs, veggies, and protein—and, depending on what I’m craving, I can switch up the vegetables (eggplant, cauliflower, potato, tomato, fava beans) and the protein (chicken, lamb, or beef) and I’m set for the week!


A staple in Palestinian culture, Ma'loobeh is an aromatic three-layered dish that covers all your nutritional bases: protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates.


  • 1 whole chicken (bone-in, cut into 8 pieces)
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 3 cups short grain rice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground all spice
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt (divided into 1 tbs + 1 tbs + 1 tbs)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole all spice berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic (small, minced)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (divided into 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp)
  • cup slivered almonds


Prep Cauliflower

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Fill a large pot ⅔ of the way with water, mix in 1 tbs of salt, and bring to a boil
  • Add cauliflower florets to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes
  • Remove the cauliflower florets from the pot and into a strainer, and rinse with cold water
  • Toss cauliflower florets in 2 tbsp of olive oil, lay on a parchment covered sheet pan, and roast for 25 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and set aside

Prep Rice

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine rice with 1 tbsp salt and soak in hot water for 30 minutes
  • Rinse out the rice using a strainer and set aside until the chicken is ready

Prep Chicken

  • In a large pot, place the pieces of raw chicken, ¼ cup vinegar, and enough water to cover the chicken—bring to a boil for about 5 minutes
  • Remove the pot of chicken from the heat, spill out the water and the white foamy froth that rose to the surface in the initial boil
  • Coat the chicken with the ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, turmeric, ground all spice, 1 tbsp salt, and pepper
  • Fill the pot of chicken with enough water to submerge the chicken in the pot—the water should only rise a few cm above the chicken
  • Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, all spice berries, bay leaves, and minced garlic to the pot
  • Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to low-medium, and cover the pot
  • Cook the chicken for about 25 minutes before removing from the water
  • Strain the broth into a bowl or jar—do NOT drain any of it, as it will be used to cook the rice

Assembling & Cooking the Ma'loobeh

  • Coat the bottom of a large pot with 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Cover the bottom of the pot with a thin layer of rice
  • Lay out the chicken on top of the rice, filling in any gaps with rice
  • Lay out the cauliflower florets on top of the chicken, filling in any gaps with rice
  • Add the remaining rice on top of the cauliflower
  • Slowly pour the broth into the pot until it's a few cm over the rice
  • Bring the pot to a boil until the water disappears from the top layer, and then lower the heat to low-medium and cover the pot
  • Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice has fully cooked through

Prep Toasted Almonds

  • Toss the slivered almonds in 2 tbs of olive oil
  • In a toaster oven, toast the almonds at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes or until golden

Serving the Ma'loobeh

  • Flip the pot onto a wide, round tray
  • Top with toasted almonds
  • Serve with a side of yogurt and/or salad


  1. When using lamb instead of chicken, I usually use eggplant instead of cauliflower and follow the same steps
  2. I usually prepare my vegetables, the minced garlic, the spice mix, and the toasted almonds the day before—it makes the dish a lot easier to put together day of 
  3. If unsure if the rice is ready, stick a knife in the pot and pull it out—if there’s any rice stuck to the knife, it needs more time 

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