Stuffed vegetable is a dish in many middle-eastern and mediterranean cuisines. In Arab countries, it is called “Mehshi”, Iranians and Turks call it “Dolmeh“. The most common Mehshi or Dolmeh is the one done with grape leaves. The stuffing varies from country to country, with rice being the common ingredient for the stuffing.
The version of Mehshi I am posting here is a Lebanese one which is vegan. It is very delicious, you will fall in love with it 😀
Ingredients for stuffing:
- 1 cup short grain rice
- 1 large tomato, finely chopped
- 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 small size chili pepper (finely chopped)
- 2 lemons (juice)
- 1 potato
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste
Vegetables to be stuffed:
- 15 Grape leaves
- 2 zucchinis
- 7 Cabbage leaves
Grape leaves can be obtained from any middle eastern supermarkets or imported food section in grocery stores in north America. You need to hollow out the zucchinis using a special tool, which can be found in middle eastern stores. Boil the Cabbage leaves so they become soft to be rolled.
Mix all the stuffing ingredients together. Take a tbsp of the stuffing and wrap them in the cabbage leaves and grape leaves to make a clean rolls.This youtube video shows how to fold the leaves:
Then, Fill the hollowed zucchinis with the stuffing up to 1 inch to the open end of the zucchinis.
Now, peel and slice the potato and put the sliced potato at the bottom of a pot in which you will cook the stuffed vegetables. Place the stuffed vegetables in the pot and put a small dish upside down on them as shown in the picture below.
Then place a heavy object (not that heavy :D), like a cup of water on top. This presses the stuffed vegetable filling the gap between them and prevents the leaves from opening while cooking. now add one cup of water.
let cook for 10 mins (or till the water starts boiling) on high heat and then reduce the heat to low and let cook for more 1.5 hours (or until the water almost evaporates and you can see a very thick paste).
Your Stuffed vegatable is ready to be served… This dish can be served hot or cold!