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Traditional Palestinian Couscous (Maftoul)

Maftoul, or also known as Palestinian couscous, is a dish that can be found in the Middle Eastern households of Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon, but what is maftoul anyways? Well, the origin of the name comes from how its processed. The name comes from the Arabic word ‘fatala’ which translates into ‘twist’ or ‘turn’ as the maftoul is twisted, split, and stretched by hand over ground organic whole wheat flour and is sun-dried along with other processes that are required to obtain the desired consistency.

Maftoul is found as a side dish next to a main course such as chicken or vegetables. The Palestinian type is also easily distinguished from other types of couscous by its pronounced nutty flavor and chewy texture. It can replace rice as it is also a whole grain that is high in calories and low in fats. Half a cub of maftoul (106 gms) contains 77gs of carbs, 14gms of proteins and only 1.5grams of fat.

Maftoul is rich in a compound known as selenium. Selenium is a strong antioxidant which can protect you from developing heart diseases and reduce inflammation, it also plays in important role in regulating the thyroid gland and protect it from damage. Foods that contain selenium such as couscous, can reduce the risk of developing cancer by eliminating and free radicals that may increase your chances of being diagnosed. Since maftoul is rich in this antioxidant, it can help boost your immune system and decrease your chances of catching an infection.

Apart from the nutritional values that maftoul adds to your meal, maftoul is very easy to prepare and can be combined with other types of grains or vegetables to add more nutrients and amino acids to your meal, so, lets find out how you can integrate the famous Palestinian couscous into your diet.

Classical maftoul recipe

This recipe is for non-meat lovers or individuals following a vegetarian diet. This is an easy to prepare meal with only 15 minutes of preparation time and 30 minutes of cooking time. This recipe combines the nutritional value of vegetables and maftoul, so lets find out what this recipe includes and how to prepare it down below.


  • 350 grams of maftoul
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 300 grams of chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 1 bouquet flat parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric and fennel seeds (1 tablespoon each)
  • vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


  1. For about 10 minutes, pre-heat a pan with a thick bottom. After that, spread a layer of olive oil of about 0.5 cm thick. Onions should first be nicely browned in a pan then add the garlic to the pan. Then add the couscous to the pan, cover it, and cook it for some time over low heat.
  2. Next, chop the butternut squash flesh into 2-by-2-cm chunks. Apply the same technique to the zucchini, bell pepper, and carrots. Then add the vegetables to the couscous. Stir gently. Give it five minutes to simmer. After that, add enough water to cover everything by 2 cm. All the spices and the vegetable stock pills should be added. Stir thoroughly, then simmer it for 15 minutes. Then add the chickpeas, cover the pan, and simmer for an additional five minutes. after that add the tomato paste to the pan.
  3. Finally, prepare to serve by adding finely chopped parsley to the maftoul and season with salt and pepper.

Maftoul with chicken recipe

Maftoul and chicken make an amazing nutritious combo that a lot of people love. In this recipe, maftoul replaces rice, but still adds all the desired health benefits and more. So, Keep an open eye as we tell you how to prepare this tasty recipe.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 carrots
  • Frying oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 10g rosemary
  • 30g fresh parsley
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 150g maftoul
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 120g black olives
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil followed by adding the copped onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 15 minutes and stir frequently to avoid clumping. Once the vegetables start cooking, add finely diced pepper and rosemary to the pan.
  2. After 15 minutes, add the tomato puree to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Then, add the maftoul, chicken stock, saffron and olives to the pan. Heat until a low to medium boil, then cook for another 15 minutes or until the maftoul is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into pieces and season to taste, then in a non-sticking frying pan and fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until it reaches a golden color or until it is cooked through.
  4. Once the maftoul is cooked, season to taste and stir in with chopped parsley. Serve the maftoul in a dish and add the chicken pieces on top of it and garnish with chopped parsley.

Whether you follow a vegan diet or like to add poultry to your main course, maftoul is a great and nutritional ingredient that you should try to add to your diet. Now if we managed to convince you to give maftoul a try, visit our online store to have it delivered to your doorstep.


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