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What is mahshi, a very traditional dish in Egypt, like?

is one of the many local dishes that you will be able to taste on your trip to Egypt. But what is it and what exactly does it contain? In this post we tell you about it and you will discover that it can be valid both for vegetarians and for those who do not want to give up meat in their diet. But above all… it’s ideal for those who enjoy tasting the delicacies of
other gastronomies

What is and what does the mahshi

The mahshi is one of the many dishes that Egypt shares with its eastern Mediterranean neighbors. In fact, it is of Turkish tradition and extends to other countries that were also under Ottoman rule, such as Lebanon or even some of the Balkans.

This is a stuffed vegetable dish: most commonly squash or zucchini, but eggplant or even cabbage or vine leaves can also be used. For the filling, rice is usually the main ingredient. 

The mahshi has a vegetarian version, in which the rice is mixed with onion, tomato (or tomato sauce) and spices, such as cumin. And the non-vegetarian version has ground or mashed meat, which can be beef or lamb. And all of it is baked in the oven.

Mahshi folk dish
Mahshi folk dish

Particularities of this popular dish

We have discussed the most common version of the mahshiHowever, as it is a very popular dish, there are many variants and particularities. The version with meat is traditionally considered the highest level, which is usually found in the kitchens of middle and upper class families. In addition, it is served hot as soon as it is finished cooking. 

In contrast, the vegetarian version has been considered to be for the less well-off, although with the rise of vegan cuisine and the increased concern for healthy food, it has become a very popular choice. This version can be served hot, freshly made, but can also be offered at room temperature as a starter in a menu with more dishes. In some places, it is often combined with other stuffed vegetable dishes, known as dolma. For example, mahshi combined with stuffed peppers.

In addition, the mahshi in Egypt is usually drunk on grand occasions, for example at wedding banquets, important celebrations or dinners during
i.e. Iftar.

Where to eat mahshi in Egypt

Although the mashiThe dish, which is reserved for special occasions among the Egyptian population, is also often found in the country’s restaurants, especially in those located in areas frequented by tourists. For example, in Red Sea destinations such as Hurghada, or in large cities with a wide gastronomic offer, such as Cairo.

So if you are going on a trip to Egypt with us and want to try a good mahshi mahshi in a local restaurant, do not hesitate to ask our staff. He will surely know how to give you indications on where to eat it during your day, if it is not included in the menu of your half board at the hotel.

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