Egyptian "Mahshy" (Stuffed Grape Leaves & Cabbage)

"Mahshy" is one of the most popular main dishes in Arabic countries like Egypt and Sirya, it's also known as "Dolma". "Mahshy" is an Arabic word means "stuffed" and it's called on some leaves like (cabbage, vine/grape leaves, lettuce leaves, or turnip leaves) or some vegetables like (tomatos, eggplant, zucchini, or bell pepper) stuffed with many kinds of stuffing different from country to another or from one person to another,
one of these types is rice and ground beef with some spices, or only rice with some herbs and tomato juice (Egyptian stuffing), and this one is what I'm going to use today, this dish is usually eaten with the preferred meat or chicken, I recommend chicken in the oven with potatoes, and minced onion or even without potatoes. Stuffed grape leaves is considered as an appetizer dish in some countries and restaurants. Today I'm going to make "Mahshy Kronb & Wara'a Enab" or stuffed cabbage and grape leaves, I hope you like it.

1- The fresher your herbs are, the best taste you will get in this recipe.
2- Using chicken or meat broth is much better that using water in cooking this dish.
3- In this recipe I used leaves to stuff, in this case (using leaves) we have to prepare leaves first before stuffing, by preparing water simmering on low heat, change the water for every leave type don't use the same water for cabbage and grape leaves to let each keeps its taste. Also use 1/2 tsp cumin in the cabbage water and 1 tsp of dried mint in grape leaves water, put the appropriate quantity of leaves so the cover the surface of the water for 3 to 4 minutes approx. and repeat till finish.
4- Some people use a plate to put on "Mahshy" between it and the lid while cooking the first 10 minutes, so the stuffed leaves don't float when adding broth or water, but I didn't use it here because I have a small pan full to the top with "Mahshy" and it was well covered.
5- For vegan version use water instead of broth and vegetable bouillon instead of chicken bouillon. 

Prep. time: 90 minutes approx. (stuffing & preparing leaves).
Cooking time: 20 minutes (depends on the quantity)
Serves: 6 people


6 cups Egyptian rice (short grain)
1 small to medium cabbage 
250 gm grap leaves (I used frozen "Farm Frites" leaves one of the best brands)
1 small pack parsley
1 small pack dill
3 onions
3 tomatos
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 onions, sliced
4 cups chicken broth


1- After preparing the leaves like mentioned above, put the onions, tomatoes, spices, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, parsley and dill in a food processor (don't add dried mint or onion slices), mix all of them without making a juice just a coarse mixture to give a better taste.
2- Wash the rice well and strain it, place it in a bowl with the mixture and stir till they mix well together (without cooking).
3- Begin to stuff the grape leaves, prepare a suitable pan (small) place half the onion slices in the bottom of it then a layer of three grape leaves, and sprinkle hlaf the mint on it, stuff the grape leaves by placing each on a plate and place the appropriate quantity of rice like this.

4- Fold the leaf this way.

5- Fold the other side, and start to roll.

6- Fold the side edges of the leaf like so.

7- Begin to roll while folding the edges so the rice doesn't go out.

8- Roll it till you finish like this.

9- Finish half the rice in stuffing grape leaves then begin to stuff cabbage. After plzcing all stuffed grape leaves in the pan put it on a high heat with 2 cups of chicken broth and cover till boil then lower the heat to low and allow it to cook in about 20 minutes.
10- Prepare the cabbage, cut the thick vein in the middle of it and cut it into halfs or 4 pieces (depemding on how big it is), then start stuffing like this, add the appropriate quantity of rice.

11- Roll the leaf till finished, it's much easier than grape leaves.

12- Prepare the appropriate pan for the cabbage by placing the rest of onion slices, and a layer of two leaves or veins, place the stuffed cabbage leaves and put the pan well covered on high heat with 2 cups of chicken broth till boil then lower the heat to low and allow it to cook for abuot 15 minutes, after "Mahshy" is cookedserve it with your preferred meat or chicken and... Bon Apetit :)


  1. Such an interesting post. Thank you for sharing!

  2. delicious! I love them!
    We cook also here in Greece familiar meals!
    We call them "Dolmadakia" (stuffed vine leaves -> ) and Lahanodolmades (stuffed rolled cabbage -> ) :D

  3. Thanks :) Great, thanks :)

  4. we call them dolma and it s my favourite dish in Turkish cuisine..

  5. delicious grape leaves yummy cabbages

  6. I have never tried grape leaves before... this sounds like an interesting recipe. I definitely have to try it :)

  7. Torviewtoronto: Thanks :)
    Tes: Yes you do, it's really yummy :)

  8. Gorgeous. My mom used to make this all the time, but we all preferred the cabbage leaves to grape so that's what it ended up being 9 times out of 10. I think they cook up much more tender. I love the step-by-step pictures of the rolling. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

  9. You are welcome, thanks for your comment :)

  10. Beautiful presentation and the photos give such clear instruction!

  11. I am an American of Greek and French descent. I made dolmades and stuck it in the fridge for my sons and his friends to have a healthy snack when they came home from school. I had an Egyptian drinking buddy (his wife did not allow alcohol in the house) come by with a bottle of wine so I pulled out some cheese and dolmades. He said they were good but I should try them Egyptian Style. So the next week he came over we drank wine and spent the afternoon making Mahshy...OMG! The kids loved it! I make Mahshy now. When we were talking he explained that so much trade happened I probably have some Egyptian ancestors and he Greek ancestors (He is from Alexandria but an American citizen now and the wife from Morocco). So I learned that Mediterranean culture can be unifying in it's cuisine. I have also learned from him that not everyone is an extremist from that area of the world. His wife is Muslim and he is Agnostic, while I am a Buddhist woman (Yes his wife approves of our friendship and knows it is just that FRIENDSHIP). If we all just sat down and ate together perhaps the world would be a better place.

    1. I'm addicted to Mahshy (dolmades) too, love it so much, it just needs some effort if you're making it for many people :D
      I'm glad you like it, thank you for your comment, and thanks for stopping by!


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