You’re definitely Palestinian if you can make…

Palestinian cuisine is very similar to other cuisines in the Levant region (Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria), and it has been strongly influenced by Turkish cuisine, as it was under the control of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. It is known to be full of flavorful spices- though it’s not spicy. Meat and rice are staples in Palestinian cuisine; almost every main dish has rice and meat in it, whether it is white meat or red meat.

Growing up in a Palestinian family outside of Palestine, my mother always made sure to tell us which dishes were originally from Palestine. Palestine has its own traditional dishes that aren’t considered dishes in other Levantine countries such as Mousakhan, Maqloubeh, Qidra, Maftoul, and Zarb. My favorite and the most famous one is “Maqloubeh”, which literally translates to “upside-down”. All Palestinians grew up eating it; thus if you know how to make it you’re definitely one!

The components of Maqloubeh include meat (lamb or chicken), rice and fried vegetables which are placed in a pot then flipped upside down when served. I personally like to try different varieties of vegetables. Fried vegetables include (mainly), but are not limited to, cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Maqloubeh is usually served with Arabic salad on the side or greek yogurt.

 

Maqloubeh
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c (370 g) rice
  2. 6 chicken breasts
  3. 2 cauliflower floret cut into small florets
  4. 4 pieces of eggplants cut into circles
  5. 4 pieces of sweet potatoes cut into cubes
  6. 4.5 c (36 oz) chicken broth
  7. 5 garlic cloves (minced)
  8. salt and pepper
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 2 tsp ground ginger
  11. 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  12. 1 tbsp mixed arabic spices
  13. 2 bay leaves
  14. olive oil
  15. vegetable or canola oil
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken in a pot for 30 minutes or so, strain and leave on the side.
  2. Cut the cauliflower, eggplants and sweet potatoes.
  3. Fry them in canola or vegetables oil, take them out of the oil and put them on a paper towel to take out all the oil from the vegetables.
  4. In a large pot, put olive oil (as desired) add the garlic and stir until it's golden, make sure not to burn them.
  5. Add the rice and stir with it the garlic and the olive oil for 2-3 minutes then add the spices.
  6. Once you add the spices, keep stirring for another 1 minute.
  7. Then add the vegetables, the chicken and the chicken broth.
  8. Keep the stove on high heat, once the broth starts boiling, turn it to low heat and keep checking until the water is drained.
  9. Once done, wait for about 2-3 minutes and then get a large plate and flip everything on top of it.
It's better served with either
  1. Greek Yogurt on the side
  2. Arabic Salad (tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, lemon, olive oil and salt)
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If you are craving some delicious Palestinian food, we’ve got you covered! Check out Chef Hind (Paris) for some authentic Palestinian dishes. 

 
Feature photo credit: diloz via Foter.com / CC BY
Recipe photo credit: seelensturm via Foter.com / CC BY