We Lebanese, are proud to be familiar with the meaning of a “tabkha”. Ask any Lebanese child – even well after he’s matured into a well-grown adult over 60 – to define a “tabkha”, he or she will label it as warm, fulfilling, healthy, homey and safe. It’s the purest form of home food. Food you crave when you’ve been out there too long and need to slow down for a while.

A lot of “tabkhas” consist of stuffed food: stuffed vine leaves, stuffed zucchinis, stuffed meat, etc..and one of my favorites ever, is “Sheikh el Mehshe”. ‘Sheik’ can have the meaning of king and ‘mehshe’ means stuffed. So roughly translated, the dish is called the king of stuffed :). After doing a little research, we found that eggplants (the vegetable used for this dish) had actually been judged to be the best food to stuff (i.e. the tastiest), hence the name.

This recipe is dedicated to my expat sister and friends who might be craving some comfort food. The good news is that it’s really easy to make! It’s a no fuss no muss recipe you can whip out in no time. Being responsible for our own comfort food as well, we found it to be easier than expected 🙂

So here’s what you’ll need (for 2 to 3 persons):

sheikh-el-mehshe-ingredients

– 8 small eggplants

– 300 grams of minced beef

– 1 large white onion, diced

– Pine nuts (for decoration)

– 2 large juicy tomatoes, diced (you know they’re juicy when they’re red)

– 200 ml of tomato juice (we used Pomi)

– Olive oil

– Vegetable oil

– Salt and Pepper

How to make it:

1) Cut the eggplants in the middle (but not till the end), sprinkle 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and place them in the oven until they are goldeneggplants-out-of-the-oven

2) In a casserole, heat the diced onions and tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then add the meat and the pine nuts, season, and cook

sheikh-el-mehshe-in-the-making

3) Add the meat mix on top of the grilled eggplants and top it all with the tomato juice. Season and add olive oil

sheikh-el-mehshe-before-the-oven

4) Heat on medium fire until the eggplants are fully cooked

sheikh-el-mehshe-out-of-the-oven

 

5) Serve with rice and voila! 🙂

Sheikh-el-mehshe-1

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *