Mahshi Betengan (Stuffed Eggplant)

Mahshi is the name used for a wide group of dishes which include a variety of vegetables stuffed with rice, vegetables, and meat. It is similar to dolma dishes, but the name is primarily used in Syria, North African, and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

The most common vegetables used as a container are cored zucchinis, squash, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, potato, and in some regions even cabbage and vine leaves. The stuffing for the vegetables typically uses rice as the base, which is usually flavored with region-specific spices.

They can include mild Mediterranean spices such as parsley, dill, and bay leaves, or the more Oriental ones such as cinnamon, allspice, or mint. Already browned minced meat is occasionally added to the rice, but it can be omitted to create a vegetarian version of the dish.

In some countries, the stuffing mixture is commonly combined with tomato sauce. Vegetables are usually cooked in broth until the rice is thoroughly cleaned and the stuffing entirely infuses all the fragrant spices. Depending on the choice of ingredients, mahshi can be served as a nutritious main dish, as a healthy vegetarian meal, and even as an assorted starter.

It is a dish with centuries-long tradition, which is held in high regard in all the regions and countries where it is prepared and consumed.

 

 

Ingredients

12 Eggplants Small sized

1 Cup White Rice Short Grain

1/4 Pound Ground lamb beef or

2 Tablespoons Ghee

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 Cups Water

Salt and Pepper

1 Teaspoon Mint Dried

One of Lemon Juice

 

Steps

Wash the eggplant thoroughly, cut off stems and place into a bowl of cold water.

Using an apple corer, hollow out the insides and place them back in the water to prevent browning. Save pulp to add to eggplant soup...no need to waste it :)

Wash rice and drain. Mix together rice, meat, ghee, salt, pepper, and cinnamon until well combined. Fill each hollowed out eggplant with the mixture, until about 3/4 full, then place them in the bottom of a large pan in one layer.

Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over vegetables. Put a plate on top that is large enough to cover all of the veggies, then put a heavy bowl of water on top to weigh down the plate.

Bring to the boil, then cook over medium heat for one hour. Serve with salad on the side and enjoy!

 

Lara Khouli

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