Maqlubat Zahra (Literally: Upside-Down Cauliflower)

When I was invited to be part of the Philips Middle East #30daysofhomemade challenge, I was very excited to use the Philips Avance XL AirFryer to make Maqlubat Zahra. This dish is a traditional Palestinian cuisine that is typically very oily because I would have to deep fry the cauliflower. For the challenge I used the AirFryer instead and I was honestly amazed with how well it cooked the vegetable. Initially I thought that the flavours wouldn’t be the same and as yummy, because lets be honest everything deep fried is simply more delicious, but I was pleasantly surprised and I don’t think I will be deep frying anything anymore. I am definitely a strong proponent of healthy cooking and this machine definitely makes the process simpler and cleaner.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and I would be keen to hear your feedback if you end up buying this machine.

Nooshe-joon and sahtein!!


Maqlubat Zahra (Literally: Upside-Down Cauliflower)

May 16, 2016


2 cauliflower heads, cut into florets

500g lamb cubes

4 to 6 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 cups Egyptian (Calrose) rice

4 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp white pepper

4 cardamon pods

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf


1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup pistachio


1Soak rice in water; drain once the meat is cooked and keep on the side

2Meat: In a pressure cooker, on medium heat fry onions, with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until onions become translucent. Add lamb cubes, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamon pods; stir until the meat has browned. Season with black pepper, white pepper, garam masala, cinnamon powder and 3 teaspoon of salt. Add 3 cups of water, cover the pressure cooker and let simmer until the meat becomes tender. You will also notice that most of the water has evaporated

3Cauliflower Preparation: While the meat is cooking start preparing the cauliflower. Pre-heat the Philip XL AirFryer at 180 degrees Celsius. AirFry the cauliflower in batches; coat the florets with a bit of vegetable oil, place in the AirFry basket and cook for about 10 minutes. When finished the florets should have a golden brown colour.

4Maqluba: Layer the Maqluba in the medium size pot. First put the cauliflower on the base of the pot, then layer the cooked meat and juices over the cauliflower, and finally layer the rice. Add 4 tsp of salt and add about 4 cups of water (enough so that there is about 1 cm water above the rice). Cover the pot and leave to simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked (approximately 20 to 30 minutes).

5While the rice is cooking, separately roast the cashews, pistachio and raisins in a small frying pan over medium heat until they are slightly browned. Keep on the side and use later to top over the cooked Maqlubat Zahra.

6Once the rice has cooked, allow the pot to cool for 15 minutes and then carefully flip upside down over a serving platter. Sprinkle the cooked nut mix over the rice and serve. This dish is absolutely delicious with yoghurt or salad

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