Mahshi was cooked by the Egyptian groups, Dina, Manar and Eman, and also by Treza, Awatef and Randa.
Mahshi is one of the main dishes in Egyptian feasts, and is the most common dish in Egypt and the Middle East. It consists of vegetables stuffed with a herby rice mixture and cooked in a rich tomato sauce.
As Eman said, 'Mahshi is very nice to cook when we have women together. All family gatherings think first to eat Mahshi so we can get together and sit around the table, and every one of the women gets a job to do. One takes the inside of the vegetables out, one can chop onions. We all have a part of a job to make the mahshi dish. It takes a long time to cook, so we spend it together talking, having fun, getting the children involved to learn our traditional food.'
About 7 Small Egyptian courgettes, approx 10cm long
About 7 small aubergines also about 7cm long
2 cups risotto rice
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 large onion
Bunches each of mint, parsley, fennel and coriander, finely chopped.
Chilli powder, dried cumin and coriander
salt and pepper
4 cups boiled water
How to make
Cut off the stalks and ends of the courgettes, and then carefully hollow out the centre of the aubergines and the courgettes. Wash the vegetables.
Soak the rice in the tomatoes with all the chopped herbs, and chopped onions.
Add seasoning and chilli powder, and 1 tablespoon each of dried cumin and coriander. Leave for about an hour.
Fill each vegetable with the stuffing, leaving 2-3 cms free at the top to allow the filling to expand.
Place all the stuffed vegetables upright in a large saucepan.
Fill another saucepan with the boiled water and add 2 tbsp salt, half a tube of tomato paste, and about 1 teaspoon of dried cumin and coriander. Chicken or vegetable stock can also be used according to taste.
Bring to the boil and then pour it over the stuffed vegetables.
Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour, allowing the sauce to reduce.
Serve with a little of the sauce and a dollop of yoghurt.