Maftoul, the Palestinian classical recipe

Recipe by Damaris Beems
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: Arabic, Palestinian




Cooking time


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I love classic recipes. I really love them. They are A-L-W-A-Y-S exactly right. Always very, very tasty. Always great. And, of course, so is this maftoul. There are variations. Every family has one. Every Palestinian grandmother is renowned for it. And this is a delicious vegan version. And if you don’t know pearl couscous yet, this is your best first introduction.


  • 350 gram pearl couscous(oftewel maftoul)

  • 3 large carrots

  • 1 courgette / zucchini

  • 1 butternut squash

  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 1 onion

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 4 table spoons tomato puree

  • 300 gram chick peas from a can or jar

  • 3 table spoons caster sugar

  • 1 bouquet flat parsley

  • 1 table spoon of ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric and fennel seeds (1 table spoon each)

  • vegetable broth

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil


  • Preheat a pan with a thick bottom for about 10 minutes. Then add a 0.5 cm layer of olive oil. First fry the onions nice and golden brown. Add the garlic for a few minutes. Then put the pearl couscous in the pan, put the lid on and let it simmer for a while on low heat.
  • Then cut the flesh of the butternut squash into pieces of 2 by 2 cm. Do the same with the carrots, bell pepper and zucchini. Add everything to the pearl couscous. Stir gently. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then add enough water that everything is 2 cm under water. Add the vegetable stock tablets and all the spices. Stir well and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the chickpeas and let it simmer again for 5 minutes with the lid on the pan.
    Now add the tomato paste. This is tasty and slightly thickening.
  • Finely chop the parsley and add it to the maftoul. Season with salt and pepper.

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