Silver Travel Cook Club - November 2021

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Silver Travel Cook ClubIntrepid TravelThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for Maqluba – upside down chicken and rice inspired by Intrepid Travel’s Jordan Real Food Adventure.   

And you could win a copy of The Essential Middle Eastern Cookbook: Classic Recipes Made Easy by Michelle Anderson.

Fresh herbs and spices, creamy yogurt, savoury skewered meats, and flaky baklava Middle Eastern cuisine is famous for its vibrant flavours. Packed with 100 classic recipes made simple, this complete Middle East cookbook gives you a true taste of one of the world’s most influential culinary regions. Try your hand at delectable dishes like tabbouleh, Lebanese chicken fatteh, spiced beef tagine, and homemade pita bread with hummus. All of the ingredients in this Middle East cookbook are easily found in your local supermarket, yet they stay true to the authentic flavours and textures of each traditional meal.

Intrepid Travel Jordan Real Food Adventure

Feast your eyes upon forgotten landscapes as you unravel the secrets behind Jordan’s ancient recipes. Jordan has a way of hiding more than ancient tombs and forgotten landscapes. For centuries, this jewel of the Levant has been a magnet Intrepid Travel cooking classfor swaying influences and cultures – granting new flavours as these outsiders come and go. Phenomenally, the land itself helps its inhabitants cook and prepare meals: the sweeping deserts of Wadi Rum offer themselves to roast Bedouin feasts underground, the Dead Sea grants its salt as a world-class garnish and the country’s climate has allowed olives to grow and thrive for over 6000 years. Jordan and food work synonymously through a relationship that borders on near myth – but this relationship is something that must be experienced first-hand to be truly understood.

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Find out more about authentic foodie experiences pioneered by Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel Jordan Real Food Adventure

Recipe: Maqluba – upside down chicken & rice

Servings: 4


  • 1 large whole cut-up chicken (8 pieces)
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooking oil
  • 1 large aubergine, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup baby carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 3 medium to large potatoes, peeled or not, sliced about ¼-inch thick Florets from 1 small head cauliflower
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • Additional water as needed
  • Plain yogurt for serving


Bring chicken, water, onion, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, allspice, salt and pepper to a boil in a large pot. Skim off scum from chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and set chicken aside.

While broth continues to simmer, heat oil in a large, deep frying-pan over medium heat. Fry aubergine slices in hot oil until brown on both sides; remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. (When cool, cut into quarters if pieces are large.) Use the same process to separately fry the carrots, potatoes and cauliflower.

Layer potatoes on the bottom of a large pot. Arrange chicken over potatoes, then aubergine, carrots and cauliflower on top of the chicken in layers. Pour uncooked rice over chicken and vegetables, shaking the pot gently to allow rice to settle. Strain chicken broth and pour over mixture until mixture is completely submerged in liquid. Add water if needed.

Cover pot and simmer over low heat until rice is soft, and all liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove lid. Place a very large platter over the pot and flip the pot, so the dish is upside down on the platter. Serve with yogurt.

The Essential Middle Eastern CookbookHow to win a copy of 'The Essential Middle Eastern Cookbook' by Michelle Anderson

Middle Eastern cuisine is famous for its vibrant flavours, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, falafel, even plain old hummus. 

Simply add a comment at the end of this page to tell us about a Middle Eastern dish you have enjoyed and where.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 28 Comment(s)

  • DRSask
    about 15 hours ago
    I'm very fond of appetizers and remember many years ago being introduced to hummus and baba ghanoush with little pita breads as starters at a friend's cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. Sitting on the dock having appetizers and cocktails before dinner and watching the sun start to set over Lake Muskoka and tasting delicious and bright dips before heading inside to avoid mosquito hour was heaven. I still enjoy the dips though usually have veggie sticks with them instead of bread.
  • Jacks10
    2 days ago
    A Lamb Tagine in Marrakech was succulent, delicious and one of the most memorable meals I have ever had. One day I would like to go back and repeat the experience but am worried it will never match the original evening!
  • Ken-Baines
    3 days ago
    Loved Fethiye but it was VERY hot!
  • Rob_1
    5 days ago
    Sitting overlooking the harbour in Fethiye eating mixed Meze and red mullet off the grill
  • traceyjgrey
    5 days ago
    I love the intense flavours of a Butternut Tagine
  • SM65
    5 days ago
    Great prize - would bring back memories of so many happy holidays and fabulous meals in Egypt and Turkey
  • GypsyWanderer
    24 days ago
    The most memorable meal I have had in the Middle East was in Aman, Jordan. The last night of an amazing ten day trip and our wonderful guide, Mazuse, had invited us to his home for a meal. We met his beautiful, welcoming wife and his excited children and sat down to their normal Friday night meal, layers of rice and different meats and veg. I don’t know what the dish was called but I can remember how much we enjoyed the food, the family, the friendship and the connection.
  • Ozdevon
    24 days ago
    Falafel is a favourite - and available at many places
  • you
    25 days ago
    I would like to try to make sweets and puddings from this area, my husband said that the variety of such made his visits always enjoyable.
  • Planetzutu
    25 days ago
    My husband is from the Middle East so we often eat Arabic food. My favourite is a Claudia Roden recipe called Lamb Sofrito. A leg of lamb cooked in steam with turmeric, lemon, potatoes and seasoning. Everyone who eats meat says they love it. Would love the book for new ideas.
  • Cate65
    25 days ago
    Fabulous sticky Middle Eastern pastries filled with nuts from Dubai, making my mouth water just thinking of them
  • TrevorN
    26 days ago
    You have to try Dar Hamad, Kuwait City. Amazing traditional Kuwaiti food served in a villa decorated in traditional manner. Their spin on traditional food is so refreshing and completely different to the mass blend of Lebanese / Persian food served in most regional restaurants. I’ve been visiting the region regularly for over 25 years and their food stands out from all other restaurants
  • ChezA
    26 days ago
    Babaganoush, so simple to make and yet so tasty! Middle Eastern cuisine takes fresh, basic ingredients and creates a banquet without any faff.
  • plee
    26 days ago
    The first place I ever traveled abroad was to beriut - about 30 years ago. I was in love and had followed my man to his home country. We sat in his mothers kitchen and she taught me to cook Kibbeh. We pounded bulgar wheat with lamb, mixed spices and pine nuts. Next a huge shallow pan with oil was heated and the Kibbeh were fried. They were part of an amazing meal with tabbouleh, yogourt and green vegetables steamed with lemon. Unfortunately the relationship failed but I will never forget that meal!
  • chrissie8452
    26 days ago
    Middle Eastern food is my favourite, I enjoy trying new spicy dishes, and particularly love aubergines, houmous and couscous.
  • LesleyA
    26 days ago
    When I was at Uni I shared a room with a Lebanese girl. She brought a bag of barley/wheat sun-dried in yoghurt from home, and prepared a meal with it. It was wonderful. I've never seen it anywhere since.
  • SilverTravelUser_4342
    26 days ago
    My friend is in Jordan at the moment and keeps posting photos of the amazing food she’s enjoying. It would be great to be able to cook a meal from this book next time she comes for dinner. Although I always enjoy a tagine I’d love to try cooking something more challenging.
  • JoeGr
    26 days ago
    Great prize - I love middle eastern cooking especially all the mezes!
  • jmo
    26 days ago
    My undying memory of my trip to Jordan with dinner under the stars in the desert, was watching the making of the huge circular flatbreads being cooked on equally large domes over the very hot fires - just magic!
  • doublet
    26 days ago
    When I was in Marrakesh I had tagines every day - they are delicious - especially the vegetable ones.
  • Lucylocketmacc
    26 days ago
    Fish stew and couscous in Agadir a few years ago
  • pengwen
    26 days ago
    Enjoyed every thing I tried.Especially aubergine dishes.
  • Hollywolly
    26 days ago
    I love Baba Ganoush and always order this when it is on the menu, followed by more with a main course. The most unusual place i have eaten this, is in Tenerife, it was a lovely restaurant, overlooking the sea.
  • Dave-SoS
    26 days ago
    What a terrific recipe idea! Love the thought of flipping it over onto the serving plate. I guess my favourite Middle Eastern dish was in Turkey during Desert Storm 1, when I was a civilian providing support to the military and civilians serving there. Saksuka was my 'go to' comfort food then, but now I find I'm grabbing yaprack dolma, the stuffed vine leaves, as my favourite convenience food! I have to go and try this Maqluba now.
  • Ken-Baines
    26 days ago
    Would love to try some of these recipes. I can see myself buying the book if I don't win a copy!