Stuffed vegetables

Stuffed vegetables

Cairo Kitchen
Jonathan Gregson

These vegetables are referred to in Arabic as ‘mahshi’, which basically means ‘stuffed’. Many different vegetables can be stuffed, including cabbage leaves, tomatoes, onions and, as here, aubergines, peppers and courgettes.


Quantity Ingredient
200g short-grain rice
2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
200ml olive oil
350g courgettes
350g small slender aubergine
350g peppers
1-1.5 litres vegetable stock


  1. Wash the rice under cold running water, then soak in fresh water for about half an hour.
  2. For the stuffing, mix together the garlic, drained rice, onion, tomato, mint, pepper, chilli, dill, coriander, parsley, cumin, allspice, salt, to taste, and oil. Blend them very well and set aside.
  3. Now, prepare the courgettes, aubergines and peppers. You will need a special kitchen corer that helps you scoop out the insides of long, slender vegetables or a long, sharp knife. You need to cut the tops off, then gently dig in to the flesh, twisting and tugging out the insides. It is important that once you have hollowed out one of the aubergines, you soak it in a large bowl of water and salt until you have completed all the aubergines to prevent them discolouring and to draw out their bitterness. Cut the tops off the peppers and scrape out the seeds.
  4. Fill up the hollowed out vegetables with the stuffing mix, one by one. It’s easiest to use your fingers for this part. Leave about 3 cm of empty space at the end of each vegetable to give the rice room to expand and to prevent leakage as they cook. Tightly arrange in layers in a pot.
  5. Bring the stock up to the boil and pour over the vegetables until it just covers the top layer. Cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes over a low heat. Serve hot.
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