How to Cook Cauliflower – Jordanian Rice and Vegetables pilaf – Maglobeh – مقلوبة

2013-06-07 12.44.00

Deliciously fried cauliflower

Do you hate cauliflower? well try this recipe and it is a sure way to convert you from a hater into a cauliflower lover (at least I hope it will).

I am embarrassed to confess that I have a weird and unexplained love for maglobeh, it is irresistibly comforting and definitely not figure friendly! therefore It’s not an everyday dish, Maglobeh is the only dish (stop lying dima) is one of the few dishes that I tried to cook and failed miserably.

Although I became better at cooking rice dishes, I am still afraid of messing up the legendary maglobeh, my family will eat me alive if they were promised to have maglobeh and I failed to deliver, seriously am not kidding!

However my ninja mother have taught me well and I recently started to cook maglobeh with flying success! the rule is for every cup of rice you will need 1 1/2 cups of broth, or until the broth level is slightly above the rice (1 cm).

Maglobeh is cooked in a big pot (another one pot meal) and then flipped (big muscles required) on a huge platter, served family style hence the name “maglobeh” which literally translates to upside down in Arabic.

So what goes into maglobeh?

Well there are so many variations, usually some type of fried vegetable, rice, lamb or chicken.

The vegetables usually used are:

  1. Eggplants: Lamb is the best protein to go along with this maglobeh, usually accompanied with slices of red ripe tomatoes.
  2. Cauliflower: Chicken is the best protein in my opinion, usually accompanied with potatoes and/or carrots (also partially fried).  
  3. Green Fava beans: (not fried, more figure friendly, less desirable by me), cooked with lamb.
  4. Or a combination of fried eggplants and cauliflower.

The cauliflower and chicken, eggplant and lamb is just a personal preference in my family, so please feel free to mix and match to your liking.

Don’t grill them just fry them up and exercise like a maniac the next day.

Ok! ok  you can drizzle them with olive oil and bake in the oven until they are golden and crispy, the taste will still remain amazing however for a family filled with Jordanian maglobeh freaks who were born and raised on eating fried cauliflower and eggplants, oven fried will not do.


I didn’t add carrots to this maglobeh, although it would have been more visually appealing if I did!

Today I will be making a cauliflower and chicken maglobeh:

  1. 1 whole chicken cut into 4 pieces (bone in skinless chicken).
  2. 4 cups of short grain rice (you gotta use short grain).
  3. 2 medium size cauliflower cut into big florets.
  4. 1 medium sized onion.
  5. 4 cloves of garlic.
  6. 2 bay leaves.
  7. 4 cardamom pods.
  8. Rosemary (optional).
  9. 2 tbs Bharat (you can use all spice or black pepper instead).
  10. 1 tsp Cinnamon (it is very important to add extra cinnamon to this dish, even if your spice mix contains cinnamon, don’t skip it).
  11. 1 tsp Turmeric
  12. Salt.
  13. Boiling water.
  14. Vegetable oil (an oil with a high smoking point).
  15. Toasted pine nuts and/or Almonds for garnish (optional).

If you brown the chicken before cooking, they well look extra special and crispy, and more succulent. However you can saute your aromatics add the chicken, spices cover with water and boil instead of browning them.

  1. Heat up 1 tbs of oil and add the chicken until they are golden brown2013-07-12 12.31.24 (make sure you don’t overcrowd the pot and the chicken is dry when it hits the oil so it would brown properly), after the chicken turns golden remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pot add the cardamom pods, toast them lightly, then add the garlic, and rosemary, make sure they don’t burn, then add the onions and cook until the onions has soften.
  3. Add the chicken back in, spices and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, in2013-06-07 12.44.46 this step the onions, and the chicken will release their juices and create a rich base for our broth that we are going to cook the rice in (am salivating already).
  4. Meanwhile you have to start frying the cauliflower.
  5. After 15 minutes add boiling water to cover the chicken and cook until the chicken is done, half way through you can salt the broth and taste it for more seasoning.
  6. Wash the rice, until the water is semi clear and soak in hot water for 20-30 minutes, drain and set aside.

    2013-06-07 12.50.09

    Cauliflowers getting the royal treatment!

  7. Now your cauliflower is fried with a royal golden color, the chicken is done, and the broth has been sieved (you can also skip the sieving step as well).
  8. Now you have to assemble the layers and here comes my mother’s part (everything tastes better with your mothers touch):
  9. What my mom does is layer the meal in a big pot starting with chicken, cauliflower and rice (soaked then drained rice). she then adds the
    Not the best looking pot but it does the trick :)

    Not the best looking pot but it does the trick 🙂

    strained hot chicken broth, making sure that the broth is slightly above the rice level.2013-06-07 14.36.52

  10. place the pot on high heat covered and until it bubbles and the broth reaches the rice level this will take around 10-15 minutes, then lower the heat and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and fluffy (we don’t eat al dente rice in the middle east). Once its done my mother usually brings a blanket and wraps the maglobeh like a little child 😛 (its a middle eastern thing), but what that does is it keeps the maglobeh warm, the rice becomes fluffier and the ingredients hold better together, remember its a huge pot of rice, chicken, and cauliflower that have been boiling for 30 minutes total, it needs to rest for 15-20 minutes.

DSC00388Invert on a big platter, you can toast some almonds or pine nuts and top it (its optional) serve with an Arabic salad, tomatoes, onions, dried mints, parsley, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil) or yogurt.

One of my fellow bloggers Le Food Snob have made Maglobeh for the first time, and she decided to write a blog post about it, please make sure you go and check her version for Maglobeh, also don’t forget to take a look at her blog, she got a lot of delicious recipes worth checking.



11 thoughts on “How to Cook Cauliflower – Jordanian Rice and Vegetables pilaf – Maglobeh – مقلوبة

  1. lefoodsnob says:

    Thanks for the shout out! Just got a comment on my Maglobeh posting – another foodie says she wants to try it! I truly think this recipe could and should sweep the blogging world. Soooooo good!!!!!!!!!


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