Category: Main Dishes

Origin: Egypt


For how many people: 10+

Preparation time: 1 hr

Cooking time: 2 hr


Story of the recipe or story of the chef:

Stemming from a long line of food lovers, this precious recipe was secretly passed on to my daughter Sherine and I by a dear family friend in Egypt. The perfect combination of ingredients and dosage of spices can turn the simplest preparation into a mouth-watering gourmet dish.

Here, the onion, often used as an accompaniment or a base, takes center stage, with taste and color as its defining qualities.

Nevine & Sherine


List of ingredients:

  • 15 large, round white onions


For the filling:

  • ½ cup of rinsed rice
  • 1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of mint, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Salt, black pepper and 7-spice mix
  • ½ tsp curcuma
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cube of chicken or vegetable stock


Preparation Mode:

1.    Prepare the onions: Trim 5mm from the top and bottom of the onions. Place the onion with the top tip facing up and bottom tip facing down. Put the tip of the knife on the center top and cut down until the center bottom, making a slit down one half of the onion, while leaving it whole.

2.    Fill a saucepan with water and the stock and bring to the boil. Add the onions and make sure they are completely immersed in the liquid. Boil until they are soft.

3.    Carefully peel off the outer layers, while the onions are still warm (these will be used for stuffing just like “malfouf”) and discard the smaller inner layers.

4.    For the filling: Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Lay flat 1 onion layer and stuff with 1 small spoon of filling at one end and roll. Close each end by pressing them.

Place the stuffed onions seam-side down in a large buttered cake pan (just like you would place “warak kenab” in a circular form 1 layer after another).

5.    Cover with water mixed with 7-spice mix, black pepper, stock cube and salt. Place a plate on the top layer and leave the cake pan uncovered.

6.    Slow cook over a low heat for 2 hours. Add more stock if needed during cooking time.

Serve hot or cold.


My top tip:

It is easier to unmold and make it more presentable if you use a large cake pan for “warak  kenab”, “malfouf” and stuffed onions, rather than a deep cooking pan. Sahtein!