Mahshi Tamatim


Egyptian stuffed tomatoes are a labor of love, but boy are they worth the effort



Chances are you’ve heard of plenty of stuffed vegetable dishes: Stuffed eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers, and the list goes on. But now allow me to introduce you to an incredibly underrated stuffed vegetable dish – stuffed tomatoes. In fact, it might just be the most delicious stuffed vegetable dish of them all, which is why it’s the latest part of my recent series on how people from around the world eat tomatoes.

These stuffed tomatoes are an Egyptian dish brought to us by Yasmin. According to her, this is an ancient recipe that can be found on tables throughout Egypt. Growing up, however, Yasmin was not exactly a fan of this dish. Yet, after watching how much her mother and grandmother adored them, she eventually caved. These days, Yasmin loves to make and eat these stuffed tomatoes as a way to preserve the cultural and familial tradition.

These stuffed tomatoes may be lovely to look at and eat, but be warned that they are also time consuming to make. In fact, Yasmin notes that in Egypt this dish is actually seen as a gift because of all the time it takes to prepare them. But don’t be too scared off because the end result is definitely worth it.

To prepare your own stuffed tomatoes, you’ll have to get to work hollowing out your tomatoes until you’re left with a bowl shape. Each tomato is then stuffed with diced onions, uncooked white rice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spices. Your stuffed tomatoes are then covered and baked in a pan full of the discarded tomato flesh and a few slices of lemon. Once they’ve finished cooking, top each one with fresh herbs like dill and parsley and you’re set.

All of that labor produces a refreshing, light, and flavorful final product. I love the idea of turning these stuffed tomatoes into a vegetarian meal or serving them as an enticing side dish when you’re trying to feed a crowd. This recipe really makes tomatoes the star of the show and contains so many amazing sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. All in all, I completely understand why these stuffed tomatoes are considered a gift – They’re a labor of love to make and an absolute treat to eat. 

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Mahshi Tamatim


  • 4 large tomatoes

For rice mixture

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 16oz can tomato tauce
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

For cooking liquid

  • 2 ½ cups hot stock or water
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp tomato paste


Prepare the rice mixture

  • Combine all rice ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Prepare tomatoes

  • Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and clean them well. Core tomatoes and make sure not to tear the walls.

Making stuffed tomatoes

  • Stuff each one with the rice mixture making sure not to reach the top, so basically you want to leave about ½ cm of the top of your vegetable. Rice will expand after cooking and if you are overstuffing the tomato, 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 tomatoes 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 tomatoes 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 tomato layers. Place pot on medium high, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes until tomatoes and rice are cooked.
  • Wait for it to cool down a bit and serve!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: Africa
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian


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Egyptian stuffed tomatoes are a labor of love, but boy are they worth the effort