The Olive Press Blog

Ramadan Recipes from Jerusalem to Gaza City

Posted in: Voices from the field

To celebrate Ramadan this year, we asked our staff in the Middle East to share some of their favorite recipes. From salads to pastries, these dishes from Gaza and Jerusalem are sure to brighten up long days of fasting. Ramadan Kareem!

Sabah’s Maqluba

Maqluba is Arabic for “upside down.” It’s a fitting name for this rice dish, which is cooked with chicken and an assortment of vegetables. Before being served, the whole dish is flipped over on a plate to make a big cake-like shape.

Sabah from our Gaza office shares her delicious maqluba recipe.

Sabah from our Gaza office shares her delicious maqluba recipe.

1 whole chicken, cut into four pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 eggplants, peeled and sliced
3 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp. salt
2 lb. basmati rice
4.5 oz. whole almonds

Thoroughly clean chicken with lemon, flour it and place it in a pot. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and salt on the chicken. Let it boil for 15 minutes, then simmer over a low flame for 90 minutes. Peel and slice the potatoes, fry until golden and put them aside. Slice the eggplants, fry until golden, and put them aside. Slice the onions, fry until golden, and put them aside. Place the cooked chicken into the pot as a base, then add the slices of fried potatoes, then eggplants, then onion. Place the tomato slices on the sides of the pot. Wash rice thoroughly and leave it in boiling water for 15 minutes. Sprinkle all the remaining spices (salt, allspice, cardamom and cinnamon) on the rice, and then pour the rice on the top of all the layers. Put a small flat plate on top of the rice while pouring the boiled chicken soup slowly over it to ensure that the vegetables remain on the bottom of the pot. Make sure the water level is 1 inch above the rice. Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, then on very low heat for 30 minutes. Turn over the hot pot on a large tray and leave it for 20 minutes. Remove the pot slowly and carefully to get the desired shape. Fry the almonds to decorate the top of the maqluba. Serve with a fresh salad (check out the fattoush recipe below) and enjoy!

Chef Sabah shows off her delectable Ramadan dishes!

Chef Sabah shows off her delectable Ramadan dishes!

Barihan’s Fattoush

Salad Ingredients: 

4 medium tomatoes
4 large cucumbers
1 large green bell pepper
6 small radishes (or 2 large ones)
3 small scallions/spring onions
1 small bunch of arugula
1 medium head of lettuce
1 bunch of fresh mint (for garnish)

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground sumac
1 tbsp. dry mint
½ cup of fresh lemon juice (3 medium lemons)
¼ cup of olive oil
toasted bread (torn into small pieces) or croutons

Toss the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, radish, scallion, arugula and lettuce in a big bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a separate container. Add the dressing to the salad, evenly coating the vegetables. Add the toasted bread pieces and toss again slightly. Garnish it with fresh mint. Sahtein o afieh (bon appetit)!

Fattoush is a fresh, light side dish, perfect for maqluba.

Fattoush is a fresh, light side dish, perfect for maqluba.


Join in the spirit of togetherness this Ramadan by sending a #RamadanSolidarity card.




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