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Tomato Mahshi (Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables)


This rich and hearty Middle Eastern dish is called Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables). Using a homemade meat filling for a veganized take on the classic. It’s a cozy meatless meal you need to try!

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables)

About The Recipe

  • Meatless | Vegan
  • Showstopper at food parties
  • Homemade meat replacement
  • Versatile with different stuffed vegetables

What Is Mahshi?

Mahshi means “Stuffed” in the Arabic language. It also refers to the name of most of the Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables dishes. Like Kousa Mahshi (Stuffed Zucchini), Cabbage Rolls (known as Malfouf), Yalanji Grape Leaves, Kousa w Warak Enab, and so much more.

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables)

Traditionally, Mahshi is made with a rich and bold rice filling. Often mixed with ground meat. Sometimes vegetarian or vegan, using an herby tangy Yalanji filling (loaded with vegetables). This Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) recipe uses a homemade vegan meat replacement to store-bought alternatives.


Ingredients You’ll Need

Vegan Meat Replacement

  • Mushrooms: Button mushrooms
  • Onion: Diced to be sautéed
  • Garlic: Minced to add fragrance
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt & Pepper: Adjust to taste
Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Meat Filling Ingredients

Note: You can use store-bought meat alternatives instead. Replace with two packs of 340g of Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods.

Vegetables To Stuff

  • Kousa: Small zucchini / grey squash
  • Warak: Jarred grape leaves
  • Malfouf: Fresh cabbage leaves
  • Basal: Sweet onions
Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Middle Eastern Style - Zucchini, Grape leaves, Onions, Cabbage rolls

Note: You can also use other vegetables to stuff with the filling. Like: Eggplants, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Bell Peppers, and other types of leaves.

For The Pot

  • Tomatoes: Thick slices to layer in pot
  • Potatoes: Thick slices to layer in pot
  • Garlic: Cloves to stuff in between layers
  • Tomato Sauce: Jarred with spices & herbs
  • Pomegranate Molasses
  • Dried Mint: Only use a little bit (too strong)
  • Lemon juice: Soak vegetables at the end
Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Tomatoes potatoes and garlic

Making The Filling

Sauté the onions in a hot pan with some garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook to soften. Stir in the rehydrated TVP to brown up.

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Cooking vegan meat mixture

Add everything to a food processor. Pulse to break down. Blend with tomato paste and pomegranate molasses to combine.

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Making vegan meat mixture in food processor

Preparing The Vegetables

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables)

Zucchini: Cut off the top and bottom ends using a knife, only removing the inedible parts. Carefully hollow out the insides using a corer. Stuff with the filling, tapping the bottom of the zucchini to fill in the gaps. Leave some space at the top to allow the rice to expand.

How to prepare stuffed zucchini
TAP ON THE PHOTO FOR THE STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL

Grape Leaves: Rinse off the brine from the jar. Snip off the strings of each leaf. Place on a plate with the soft side facing down. Spread a heaping teaspoon (or tablespoon, depending on leaf size) to the bottom centre. Fold over the bottom, tuck in the sides, roll it up tightly.

How to prepare grape leaves
TAP ON THE PHOTO FOR THE STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL

Cabbage Rolls: Cut off the core of a cabbage head at an angle. Drop into boiling water to soften the leaves and blanch for a minute. Cool down. Cut off the stem (or smash it down). Add a heaping tablespoon of the filling to the centre. Fold/tuck/roll, similar to grape leaves.

How to prepare cabbage leaves
TAP ON THE PHOTO FOR THE STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL

Onions: Cut off both ends of an onion (keeping it intact). Make a slit vertically to remove the peel. Cut through to open a ‘pocket’. Add to boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften. Remove into a bowl of ice water to cool down. Remove layers of the onion. Stuff with a tablespoon’s worth of the filling, starting from one side. Roll to cover from other end.

How to prepare stuffed onions
TAP ON THE PHOTO FOR THE STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL

Layering The Pot

Add tomato and potato slices to the bottom of a large pot. Followed by the zucchinis, facing opposite ends. Add the stuffed onions, packing them tightly to avoid bursting when cooking. Continue with the larger grape leaves and cabbage leaves, then smaller ones. Stuff in slices of garlic cloves in between the layers of stuffed vegetables.

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Layering vegetables in pot

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over the vegetables. Cover with more water/ broth to reach the top level. Place a heat-proof plate on top and press down to hold everything in place. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn down to low and cover with a lid. Cook until vegetables are soft and tender.

Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) Cooking vegetables in pot

Drizzle a squeeze of lemon juice over the Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables) and let sit to soak up. Drain out the sauce into a bowl. Empty into a platter to serve with the sauce.


Video Tutorial

Watch this short video recipe to see how to make Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables):


More Mahshi Recipes

Vegan Kousa Warak Enab
Kousa w Warak Enab
Malfouf (Arabic Cabbage Rolls)
Malfouf (Cabbage Rolls)
Yalanji stuffed zucchini and cabbage rolls
Yalanji Zucchini & Cabbage Rolls
Yalanji: vegetarian stuffed grape leaves
Yalanji Grape Leaves

Tomato Mahshi Recipe

If you have any questions about this recipe, or gave it a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Remember to rate the recipe with ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This will help us sustain Plant Based Arab.

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Tomato Mahshi (Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables)

Recipe by Waseem HijaziCourse: Dinner, Main MealsCuisine: Arabic, Middle EasternDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours 
Total time

3

hours 

30

minutes

This rich and hearty Middle Eastern dish is called Tomato Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables). Using a homemade meat filling for a veganized take on the classic. It’s a cozy meatless meal you need to try!

Ingredients

  • Vegan Meaty Tomato Rice FIlling
  • 2 cup TVP, rehydrated in broth per package instructions

  • 450g button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely mined

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil / olive oil, divided

  • 3 tsp seven spice

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • Pinch of smoked paprika (optional) • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 tsp pomegranate molasses

  • 2 cups short grain rice, rinsed and soaked 30 minutes

  • Vegetables To Be Stuffed
  • 8 small zucchini

  • 25 grape leaves, jarred

  • 1/2 head of small cabbage (about 25 leaves)

  • 4 medium sweet onions

  • Tangy Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (680 ml) tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp dried mint

  • Water to thin down

  • For The Pot
  • 4 tomatoes, thick slices

  • 4 potatoes, thick slices

  • 8 garlic cloves

  • Broth as needed (beefless or vegetable)

  • Lemon juice, to soak up after cooking

Directions

  • Making The Filling
  • Add 1 tbsp oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the garlic for a minute to release fragrance.
  • Add in the mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the spices, with remaining 1 tbsp oil.
  • Mix in the rehydrated TVP. Cook for 5 minutes until browned, stirring frequently. Give it a taste test and adjust if needed. Remove into a bowl to cool down.
  • Add the mixture to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything down. Blend again with the tomato paste and pomegranate molasses.
  • Combine the vegan meat with the rinsed/soaked rice in a bowl.
  • Preparing The Vegetables
  • Zucchini: Cut off the top and bottom ends using a knife, only removing the inedible parts. Carefully hollow out the insides using a corer. Stuff with the filling, tapping the bottom of the zucchini to fill in the gaps. Leave some space at the top to allow the rice to expand.
  • Grape Leaves: Rinse off the brine from the jar. Snip off the strings of each leaf. Place on a plate with the soft side facing down. Spread a heaping teaspoon (or tablespoon, depending on leaf size) to the bottom centre. Fold over the bottom, tuck in the sides, roll it up tightly.
  • Cabbage Rolls: Cut off the core of a cabbage head at an angle. Drop into boiling water to soften the leaves and blanch for a minute. Cool down. Cut off the stem (or smash it down). Add a heaping tablespoon of the filling to the centre. Fold/tuck/roll, similar to grape leaves.
  • Onions: Cut off both ends of an onion (keeping it intact). Make a slit vertically to remove the peel. Cut through to open a ‘pocket’. Add to boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften. Remove into a bowl of ice water to cool down. Remove layers of the onion. Stuff with a tablespoon’s worth of the filling, starting from one side. Roll to cover from other end.
  • Layering And Cooking
  • Add tomato and potato slices to the bottom of a large pot. Followed by the zucchinis, facing opposite ends. Add the stuffed onions, packing them tightly to avoid bursting when cooking. Continue with the larger grape leaves and cabbage leaves, then smaller ones.
  • Stuff in slices of garlic cloves in between the layers of stuffed vegetables.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over the vegetables. Cover with more water/broth to reach the top level.
  • Place a heat-proof plate on top and press down to hold everything in place. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn down to low and cover with a lid. Cook for an hour and a half, until vegetables are soft and tender.
  • Drizzle a squeeze of lemon juice over the vegetables and let sit to soak up. Drain out the sauce into a bowl. Empty into a platter to serve with the sauce.

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Ari
Ari

The best recipe I’ve ever followed.. I made it spicy also..and I’ll never forget the wonderful time I had sharing it with my friends :’) I’m so happy to have found this blog and excited about cooking again

Ari
Ari

THANK YOU