Home » Region » Egyptian » Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe – Egyptian Mahshi Crumb

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe – Egyptian Mahshi Crumb

by Lily

This mahshi crumb recipe, AKA stuffed cabbage rolls recipe, is one of those dishes that makes you feel like an imposter. The only other person you will know that makes this dish is your grandmother, and quite possibly your own mother. You will not hear of any newly married couples or college students making mahshi crumb for a dinner night. It’s a dish reserved for those who know how to cook, and when I mean cook, I mean cooked every day for the last 2 decades at least.

How can I explain this… it’s like telling people that you make your pasta from scratch. There will be a look of “why on earth would you waste so much time making fresh pasta when you can do so many other things” with “wow, that is impressive”. There might possibly be a third look of “I wonder how it turned out”.

That’s the kind of look you get when you tell another Arab that you made mahshi and you are under the age of 40 years old.

Stuffed cabbage rolls are not inherently difficult. They just take a little bit of skill more than stirring. These skills can be learned, and in fact, get better with each time you practice them. But don’t be disappointed if things aren’t entirely perfect the first go.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

The secret for really great tasting stuffed cabbage rolls is the herbs. This recipe does not use any meat, so it’s vegetarian and vegan friendly. For the full instructions, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Prepare the Cabbage Leaves

Core out the center of the head of cabbage. In a boiled pot of water, slowly lower the cabbage. Peel off the leaves one by one and set aside.

Make the Rice Stuffing

In a food processer, blend up 2 onions. Pan fry the onions on medium hight heat with 3 tbsp of olive oil for about 10 minutes.

Blend 6 tomatoes in a blender and strain into a bowl. Add the strained tomato puree, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and 1 bouillon cube to the onion mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes covered.

Chop 1 cup each of parsley, cilantro and dill into fine pieces. Add herbs to the tomato mixture. Add rice and continue to cook for 5 minutes on low heat covered.

The rice will only be semi-cooked at the stage which is what we want. It will look like below.

Allow rice to cool off.

mahshi rice

Roll the Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Take the cooked cabbage leaves, and cut out the stem. Cut the cabbage leaf into a triangle shape that has about 3″ sides. For the larger cabbage leaves, you will be able to make 3 smaller leaves.

Put about 1 tbsp of rice stuffing on the cabbage leaf.

stuffed cabbage rolls assembly

Roll the leaf by tucking in the sides.

rolls assembly

Put a layer of cabbage stems and small cabbage leaves on the bottom of the pot. You can add any vegetables at your disposal.

Layer the stuffed cabbage leaves in a circular pattern going row by row. Place the seam of the cabbage leaf down. This helps the leaves form unraveling.

stuffed cabbage rolls

Once you have finished layering the rolled cabbage leaves. Slice some spicy pepper and spread on top.

mashi recipe stuffed cabbage rolls

Cook the Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Heat up the broth in a separate pot. Add the boiling broth to the stuffed cabbage leaves, fully covering the leaves. Cover and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Crack the lid and continue to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

stuffed cabbage rolls with cucumber yogurt

Ways to Eat This Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

I like eating my stuffed cabbage rolls with cucumber mint yogurt. If you don’t have any fresh mint on hand, you can use dried mint. I prefer the fresh mint though. Another tip is to use Persian cucumbers or an English cucumber.

Here’s my recipe on how to make fresh yogurt (and Labneh).

Other Tips

I make this recipe in my Le Creuset 9 quart dutch oven. I’ve had this pot for over 6 years now, and use it almost weekly.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares icon
stuffed cabbage rolls with cucumber yogurt

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe – Egyptian Mahshi Crumb

  • Author: Lilian B.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Stuffed cabbage rolls are easy to make if you have the right instructions. This is my mother in law’s delicious mahshi crumb stuffed cabbage rolls recipe.



  • 2 medium cabbage heads
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (leaves only)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley (leaves only)
  • 1 cup chopped dill
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (or duck broth)
  • 1 spicy pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


Prepare the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Heat a very large pot of water on the stovetop.
  2. Cut into the cabbage head about 2 inches deep, removing the center of the cabbage. It will take a little bit of time to do.
  3. Put the whole head into the boiling water. Be careful to lower slowly so that the water doesn’t splash.
  4. Using 2 forks, peel the outer layer of the cabbage and set aside.
  5. Repeat with the other cabbage head.
  6. An alternative way of preparing the cabbage is to remove the cabbage leaves prior to cooking. Then boil the leaves until they are tender.

Make the Rice Stuffing

  1. In a food processor, blend 2 peeled onions. The onions will be more grainy than if you had put them in the blender. This is the texture we want.
  2. In a blender, blend the tomatoes to a pulp. Strain the tomato mixture into a bowl.
  3. Chop dill, parsley, and cilantro into fine pieces. Set aside.
  4. Add a pot to the stovetop. Add olive oil and turn heat to medium-high.
  5. Add the onion mixture and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the strained tomato mixture, bouillon cube, and tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes covered.
  7. Add the chopped parsley, dill, and cilantro. Add the rice. Turn the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove rice from heat, and allow to cool off. I usually put the rice into another bowl to cool faster.

Roll the Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

  1. On each cabbage leave, cut out the rigid stem. The cut will look like an elongated triangle. For the largest leave, you will cut the cabbage leaf into 3 sections. For medium cabbage leaves, you will cut into 2 sections, and for the smallest cabbage leaves, you will not cut at all.
  2. In a large pot, place cabbage stems and some of the smallest cabbage leaves on the bottom. This layer protects the bottom rolled cabbage leaves from burning when cooking.
  3. Put about 1 tbsp of the rice mixture at the end of a cabbage leave. Roll and tuck in the sides.
  4. Place the rolled cabbage leaves in the pot making a circle, going layer by layer. Place the rolled cabbage leaves with the seam down to prevent from unraveling.
  5. Once all of the leaves have been rolled, slice a spicy pepper and add to the top.

Cook the Rolled Leaves

  1. Add a small plate face-down onto the cabbage leaves. This helps the leaves from unraveling while they are cooking.
  2. Add roughly 6 cups of boiling broth, or until the liquid completely covers the stuffed cabbage rolls.
  3. Turn the stovetop to medium-high heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Crack the lid on the pot to allow steam to escape. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Egyptian


  • Serving Size: 15 cabbage leaves
  • Calories: 469
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 221 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 85 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 8 mg

Keywords: egyptian mahshi crumb recipe, stuffed cabbage rolls

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

1 comment

Tony May 15, 2020 - 2:24 am

Is there a version that has a meat rice stuffing?


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. I Love Cookies Read More