Naglaa’s Mahshi: A taste of Egypt

Mahshi is a popular dish eaten in Egypt and Naglaa who lives in Beeston makes Mahshi for her family around twice a month. This is a signature dish which is traditional to her culture and something she makes when she has guests or there is a celebration. Naglaa invited me to learn how to make and taste this incredibly tasty meal.

Cooking time 2hrs and prep time: 1 hr

Mahshi is a dish that is cooked in a bed of vegetables with stuffed vine leaves. The stuffing mixture was prepared beforehand:

The stuffing mixture below:

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  1. One large red onion finely sliced
  2. Half a carton of Passata
  3. Chopped coriander
  4. Tbsp olive oil
  5. 1/2 kilo of washed Basmati rice
  6. Four cloves of garlic
  7. Two green chilli peppers finely chopped
  8. Tsp salt

What to do:

Finely chop the onions and garlic and fry in oil until soft for 5 mins.

Add the Passata and cook on a low heat for 2 more minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to go cold.

Add the washed rice, peppers, salt and coriander to the tomato and onions mixture.

This is the stuffing for the vine leaves which should be cold and the rice is raw.


Chop two carrots diagonally

Chop two potatoes in half

And wash five big mushrooms (don’t chop these)

And put these into a large pressure cooker and put to one side

Stuffing the vine leaves:

Wash the vine leaves with a bit of salt:

Now stuff the vine leaves with the mixture

Once all the vine leaves are stuffed place on top of the Raw vegetables in the pan.

Place some mint leaves over the top also.

Boil a pan of water (5cups) with vegetable stock a bit of salt.

There will be some stuffing mixture left over which can be used to stuff onions in.

Naglaa showed me how to soften an onion by holding it and banging it against her apron on a wall. She does this so the onion can break easily once sliced only once down its side.

There might still be more rice mixture left over even after stuffing different sizes of onions. All remaining mixture can be place in a saucepan and boiling stock water can be added to make a lovely spicy tomato rice dish.

Meanwhile prepare the last part of the recipe:

Squeeze three lemons all over and leave only the three halves along with fresh mint leaves.

Place a clear glass plate over the mixture and push down. Pour the boiling over the glass plate and place on the hob. Cover the pressure cooker.

Boil for two minutes leave to simmer for two hours.

Happy eating!

Vivienne Bate – A Childhood Recipe

I contribute this recipe in the full knowledge that not many people will like it, but I was born in 1932 and it is a dish from my childhood which I still enjoy today.   I only eat it when I am by myself, on a wintry evening, sitting by the fire spooning it up, accompanied by nice thick brown bread buttered so thickly I can see my teeth marks.  Truly comfort food.  It is easily digested and it is cheap.


This is to serve one and the quantities are not critical:


A pack of tripe (available from Morrisons at Hunslet, also there’s a tripe stall in Leeds Market)

A nice big onion or 2 or 3 small ones


Salt and Pepper

A rounded dessertspoon of cornflour (or flour but I find cornflour easier as it doesn’t go lumpy)

Milk  – and cream if you wish.

A sprinkle of dried tarragon (optional)


Cut the tripe into 4cm squares, put it in a medium saucepan and just cover it with water. Bring to the boil, then turn it down to simmer

Cut the onions into fairy big chunks and add them to the saucepan.

Simmer for about half an hour until the onions are tender

Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little milk in a jug.   Add some of the tripe liquor, give it a good stir, then slowly add it to the saucepan, stirring all the while.  

Add salt and pepper to taste, and a little tarragon if using.

You can add a slurp of double cream if you like.


The result should be quite runny – like a thick soup.  


Try it – you just might enjoy it.


Vivienne Bate