Maggie Bawabeh is an authentic Syrian Jewish cook, and I know that when she gives me one of her secret Syrian recipes, then it’s definitely a great one!! Mechshi is a Syrian term used for any stuffed vegetable. Squash, eggplant tomatoes, Spanish onions are frequently stuffed with a rice and meat mixture that is called “hashu”. I especially love how Maggie transformed this traditionally heavy meaty side dish into a whole grain, pareve and healthy recipe that we can add to any holiday or weeknight meal. Thanks Maggie for this healthy vegetarian and delicious recipe!!! Marlene
Maggie’s Healthy Spicy Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant or Peppers Recipe:
“Hi Marlene,I have a great recipe for spicy parve mechsi. Everyone loves it! You can omit the hot pepper spice if you company doesn’t like spicy. It looks like a meat dish but you can serve with parve or even dairy. You can use small(but not the mini purple ones)eggplant or Italian bell peppers. First slice off the end of the pepper and scoop out the seeds and white pith. For the eggplants, slice off the tip and using a corer scoop out the inside with a grapefruit spoon leaving about 1/8 inch all around being careful not to pierce the shell. Place eggplant pulp aside in a plastic bag in the freezer for future use. Sprinkle shell inside and out lightly with salt, set inside a colander for about half hour to soften. For the stuffing: (Depending on the amount of peppers,or eggplants:)
- 1 cup burghol fine, or coarse, rinsed well.
- 1 tbs parsley flakes
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped,
- 1 red pepper cut small
- 1 big onion diced+sauted till it’s pink,
- 1/2 tsp mint flakes
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients well and stuff the scooped vegetables with this mixture. (may be frozen on a tray at this point) Put 4 tbs olive oil in a pot, Place the stuffed mechshi and saute on both sides covered. For the sauce- add:
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 4 crushed cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of mint hot pepper flakes to taste
- 1/2 a cup of lemon juice+salt.
- Add to a saucepan and let boil. The sauce should be spicy and lemony.
- At this point you can either add the sauce to the stuffed vegetables in the pot,or transfer to a pyrex.
- Personally I cook the peppers in the oven and the eggplant on the stove.The sauce needs water to cover the mehshi,so it depends on the size of the pot or the pyrex
- Reduce to simmer for 2-3 hrs or till mechsi is cooked well.The eggplant needs longer cooking time than the peppers.
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