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Ma’loubeh, flipped over- Rice, Cauliflower, and Chicken

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  • Author: Wafa Shami


  • 1 medium-size cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon of olive, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder for grilling cauliflower
  • 4 pieces of chicken (leg/breasts or a combination)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • A pinch of each of the following spices for the chicken (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt)
  • 2 cups of basmati or Calrose rice (Calrose is highly recommended to be soaked with water for about 10-15 minutes before cooking)
  • 1-2 tomatoes sliced
  • 1 sweet onion sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • salt and pepper
  • roasted almonds (optional)


  1. Cut cauliflower into florets and mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and cumin powder and lay on a baking sheet.
  2. Grill cauliflower in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes then under the broiler for 2-3 minutes for a golden brown color.
  3. In a pot, heat oil and mix spices over the chicken after taking the skin out, sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side until chicken is golden brown.
  4. Bring water to boil and cover the chicken, turn the heat on low and let cook uncovered for about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. If using chicken breasts, keep cooking for an extra 10 minutes.
  5. Drain and reserve the water.
  6. Meanwhile, mix rice with all the spices after rinsing from water.
  7. In the same pot sauté onions and garlic in oil until they’re golden brown. Turn heat off and start layering all ingredients starting with sliced tomatoes over onion and garlic, then cauliflower, chicken and rice on top.
  8. Place a small plate in the middle of the rice and pour chicken broth over until covered for about ½-3/4 of an inch.
  9. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for about 30-40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes to help the layers to hold together.
  11. Bring a large rounded serving plate, place on top and carefully flip the pot, you may tap the bottom of the pot gently to help the ma’loubeh slide off.
  12. Garnish with roasted almonds and serve with yogurt or salad.