Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayo
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.
- Advertisement -

Mahshi is one of the Middle East’s most popular dishes for when you have a feast and want to make an effort for your guests.

Each country has slight variations in how they cook their stuffed vegetables which makes it a little more interesting when your friend invites you round for some mahshi.

What is Mahshi?

Mahshi is a dish that consists of vegetables filled with ground beef and rice and cooked in a tomato-cumin sauce.

Most often, Lebanese summer squash (kusa) is used for this dish, but there are a few variations based on squash, eggplant, bell peppers, and even tomatoes or potatoes.

Stuffing made with meat isn’t required, and there are many  vegetarian options available. Dolmas are the varieties that are simply made with vegetables and are served chilled or at room temperature.
The meat-based dishes are always served hot. Fresh mint and garlic are used in the Levantine variation. It is more commonly the zucchini flowers that are filled in Cyprus.

Origin of Mahshi

Mahshi is one of the many dishes of Ottoman origin that spread throughout the territory of the ancient empire, from the Balkans to Egypt through the Levant.

The name mahshi can translate as stuffed squash. In Croatian and Serbian, this dish takes the name of punjene tikvice. In Albania, it is called kungulleshka të mbushura. Finally in Turkey, it is called Kabak Dolmasi.

In Egypt, mahshi is present on all banquet tables for weddings, family reunions, and especially during the celebrations of the month of Ramadan.

As this dish is not expensive, it is, without doubt, one of the most popular in Egypt. It is often found at meals for families across the country. Meat-free for the poor and the wealthy.

Mahshi Recipe

It is critical to have pale zucchini in order to make decent maharishi. Depending on where they are sold, they are referred to as Lebanese zucchini or Egyptian zucchini.
manakra, an instrument similar to the apple corer used in Europe, is used to hollow the out. On the one hand, the filling with minced beef is made by sautéing an onion before adding the meat, parsley, cumin, and tomato puree.
Minced beef is common ingredient in Arabic cuisine, particularly in Egypt. Short grain rice icombined with this filling. The zucchini pulp, on the other hand, is cooked in tomato sauce.

The mahshi can thus be assembled by filling a Dutch oven with tomato and potato slices which will serve as a base for the zucchini. The zucchini stuffed with rice and meat are placed on top and then the tomato sauce, broth, olive oil, and lemon are added.

After a long stew, the zucchini is very tender, the rice cooked and the meat very soft. The reduced sauce is flavored with cumin and this dish can thus be tasted.

Mahshi Variation

Aside from using different vegetables, leafy greens such as kale, chard, and even lettuce can be filled. The Egyptian version is generally cooked in broth, but the Lebanese stuffed zucchini in yogurt is equally excellent and something you should try. 
This recipe can be made in slow cooker in the same way that these slow cooker stuffed onions were. The possibilities with mahshi are infinite.
If you made this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment below. Enjoy!


Mahshi is a family of stuffed veggies that is very popular throughout the Mediterranean region. Name and stuffing varies from country to another. Here I am showing you how to make the vegan Egyptian mahshi.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6
Calories 339.4 kcal


For the rice mixture:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 medium yellow onion Chopped.
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 can (16oz) tomato sauce.
  • 2 cups short grain rice Note1.
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped. Note2
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped. Note 2
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill chopped. Note2
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mint.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste.

The above mixture is enough for one of the following: Note3

  • 4 pounds Mexican squash.
  • 2.8 or almost 3 pounds Anaheim pepper.
  • 2.8 or almost 3 pounds white or Japanese eggplant.
  • 1/2 pound grape leaves.

Cooking liquid:

  • 2 1/2 cup hot stock or water.
  • 1 bouillon cube.
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste


Make the rice mixture:

  • In a pot over medium heat, add oil and then sauté onions until translucent for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce and paste. Stir to dissolve tomato paste.
  • When it starts bubbling, add rice, spices and herbs cook for just two minutes.
  • Turn heat off and set aside to cool down.

Prepare the veggies:

  • Wash the veggies thoroughly and clean them well, Note4.
  • Core veggies and make sure not to tear the walls especially when making zucchini or eggplants. Note5
  • For Anaheim pepper, I usually like to cut it in half for easy stuffing and make sure to buy long straight ones.

Stuff the veggies:

  • Stuff each one with the rice mixture making sure not to reach the top, so basically you want to leave about 1/2 cm of the top of your vegetable.
  • Rice will expand after cooking and if you are overstuffing the veggies, rice will come off. Not that it will taste bad but the presentation will not be as fancy.
  • Arrange herbs stems, the inside of your veggies that you just took out, lemon slices, tomato slices or onion slices at the bottom of your cooking pot to prevent scorching.
  • Arrange the stuffed veggies in your pot.


  • Dissolve bouillon and tomato paste in the hot water.
  • Pour into the pot so that the cooking liquid is halfway through the veggies layers.
  • Place pot on medium high, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes until veggies are cooked. Note6
  • Wait for it to cool down a bit and serve.
  • Serve Mahshi  with tabbouleh and tzatziki sauce.


Note1: Traditionally short grain rice is used. I usually use Calrose rice, other times I use Jasmine. I’ve also seen my friends use Basmati rice.
Note2: Keep the stems of the fresh herbs, we’ll use them to cover the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching and for flavor.
Note3: Please note that this is a rough estimate but it is almost exact according to my experience. Sizes of vegetables do vary greatly but if you end up with more rice mixture you can place them in a ziplock bag and freeze to add on and use in your next mahshi recipe. Or you can cook them in a small pot with some chopped bell peppers, they end up a little bit sticky and so delicious.
Note4: If you are making grape leaves please refer to the recipe here for how to prepare them.
Note5: do not discard the inside of the veggies that you just took out, I like covering the bottom of my pot with them too. I like eating them as well when the cooking is done especially the zucchini.
Note6: Some veggies take less time than others so it depends on what veggies you are cooking. Start checking at a 25-30 minutes mark.


Calories: 339.4kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Share this post:
Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayo
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.

Must Try Recipes

You'll also love