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Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage Platters

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Egyptian Mahshi is one of the main platters in banquets especially during Ramadan when friends and family gather for iftar.

What does Mahshi mean?

This Middle Eastern dish called “mahshi” or “mahashi” literally means “stuffed”, and Arabs love stuffing every kind of vegetable imaginable! It is a delicious hearty meal that is the epitome of comfort food combining rice, meat, and veggies wrapped up in the most flavorful juicy broth.

Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage and Grape Leaves
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an image of a dish filled with Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage and Grape Leaves as well as one with a red sauce

Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Assembling and resting: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 60 depending on size 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: Egyptian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Eat Like an Egyptian and Taste the Best of Egypt’s Cuisine!


Units Scale
  • 2 medium cabbage heads or grape leaves
  • 3 cups of rice preferably short grain
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 6 cups of chicken broth or duck broth (vegetable broth for vegans)
  • 1 spicy pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


Prepare the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Heat a very large pot of water on the stovetop.
  2. Cut into the cabbage head about 2 inches deep, removing the center of the cabbage. It will take a little bit of time to do.
  3. Put the whole head into the boiling water. Be careful to lower slowly so that the water doesn’t splash.
  4. Using 2 forks, peel the outer layer of the cabbage and set it aside.
  5. Repeat with the other cabbage head.
  6. An alternative way of preparing the cabbage is to remove the cabbage leaves prior to cooking. Then boil the leaves until they are tender.


Make the Rice Stuffing

  1. In a food processor, blend 2 peeled onions.
  2. The onions will be more grainy than if you had put them in the blender. This is the texture we want.
  3. In a blender, blend the tomatoes to a pulp. Strain the tomato mixture into a bowl.
  4. Chop dill, parsley, and cilantro into fine pieces. Set aside.
  5. Add a pot to the stovetop.
  6. Add olive oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
  7. Add the onion mixture and cook for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the strained tomato mixture, bouillon cube, and tomato paste.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Cook for 10 minutes covered.
  11. Add the chopped parsley, dill, and cilantro. Add the rice. Turn the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove rice from heat and allow to cool off. I usually put the rice into another bowl to cool faster.


Roll the Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

  1. On each cabbage leave, cut out the rigid stem.
  2. The cut will look like an elongated triangle.
  3. For the largest leave, you will cut the cabbage leaf into 3 sections.
  4. For medium cabbage leaves, you will cut them into 2 sections, and for the smallest cabbage leaves, you will not cut them at all.
  5. In a large pot, place cabbage stems and some of the smallest cabbage leaves on the bottom.
  6. This layer protects the bottom rolled cabbage leaves from burning when cooking.
  7. Put about 1 tbsp of the rice mixture at the end of the cabbage leaves. Roll and tuck in the sides.
  8. Place the rolled cabbage leaves in the pot making a circle, going layer by layer.
  9. Place the rolled cabbage leaves with the seam down to prevent them from unraveling.
  10. Once all the leaves have been rolled, slice a spicy pepper and add to the top.

Cook the Rolled Leaves

  1. Add a small plate face-down onto the cabbage leaves. This helps the leaves from unraveling while they are cooking.
  2. Add roughly 6 cups of boiling broth, or until the liquid completely covers the stuffed cabbage rolls.
  3. Turn the stovetop to medium-high heat and cover.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Crack the lid on the pot to allow steam to escape.
  6. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.


PS: it can be made completely vegetarian as well.

  • Very time-consuming but worth the effort.
  • I usually make tons of it and freeze it. Freezes beautifully.
  • Can be used for other vegetables such as peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and married but I don’t recommend freezing these.


Prepared, tried, and tested by Khadija from The Recipe Hunter: Tried and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs


  • Serving Size: 3
  • Calories: 109
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 554.4 mg
  • Fat: 2.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 1.9 mg
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an image of a dish filled with Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage and Grape Leaves as well as one with a red sauce
Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage and Grape Leaves

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8 thoughts on “Egyptian Mahshi Cabbage Platters”

  1. I can’t believe it Esme, it’s just like you are reading my mind… Yesterday I was sitting in front of the house and thinking how I need to try making stuffed grape leaves that are growing right now abundantly 😊 I’ll use your recipe, thank you 😊

  2. Wowie!! Those stuffed cabbages, grape leaves, and other vegetables look amazing . My husband’s family lived in Egypt for multiple generations and this Is how my mother in law cooked ( she died last year). Mahshi is so delicious and I am thrilled to have a vegan stuffing recipe. This is my first time on your blog an I’m enjoying looking at all the wonderful recipes.

    • Hi Judee, So glad to have you over in my corner of the blogosphere and delighted to know that you love this Egyptian recipe and that its something you love and know. Obviously I have not made it myself, as I get many of the recipes here from my FB group members (per prior approval) and hope you will enjoy trying this one at home.


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