Egyptian Herby Stuffed Red Peppers (Mahshi)

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This recipe was featured in our Imperfect Almanac.

Mahshi is an Egyptian dish of vegetables stuffed with rice and cooked in a spiced tomato sauce and it’s one of the coziest ways to eat your veggies. Mahshi can be made with squash or eggplants, but our recipe stuffs all the herby goodness into red bell peppers. 

Recipe by Doaa Elkady

Serves 4-6


Herby Egyptian Stuffed Red Peppers (Mahshi) by Doaa Elkady

For the stuffed peppers

  • 6 firm red bell peppers
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch dill
  • 1.5 cups white rice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp buharat spice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, diced

For the tomato broth

  • 4 cups strong and flavorful chicken or vegetable broth
  • 8 oz can tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp buharat spice
  • 1 tbsp salt


  1. Begin by removing the stems from the bell peppers with a paring knife. You can also just slice the top off. Reserve the tops to cover the peppers when they’re cooking.
  2. To make the stuffing mixture, in a food processor, pulse the onion, dill, and cilantro together until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the rice, olive oil, 7 spice, tomato paste, and diced tomato. Mix to combine. Taste for salt and add more if needed. 
  3. Heat the ingredients for the broth in a saucepan so it is ready for use. While it is heating, stuff the peppers with the rice mixture until they are 3/4 full. Place some unused sprigs of dill and cilantro in the bottom of a large, 10-inch diameter pot, then place the peppers within it. Ladle the broth into the pot of peppers, making sure some broth goes into each pepper. The broth will reach the sides of the peppers, which is fine. Cover the peppers with their tops, then cover the pot. Place the pot on low heat and simmer for 1.5 hours, or until the peppers are cooked through and the rice is fully cooked. Serve the Mahshi with herbed yogurt and any leftover broth can be served on the side as a sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • Before cooking, make sure your chicken broth is aromatic and flavorful. If it is a little watery or bland, you can simmer it with a cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 6 cardamom pods, and a teaspoon of peppercorns for half an hour so it gains some more flavor. 
  • Be sure to check out more of Doaa’s incredible recipes like this Artichoke and Chickpea Dip with Dukkah.
  • Buharat or Baharat means “spice” in Arabic and can take on a variety of different spice blends based on where it’s from. You can buy Buharat online or make your own following Doaa’s recipe.

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