Lebanese vegan stuffed eggplant is also known as "batinjan mahshi." Each eggplant is hollowed, stuffed with a vegetable and rice filling then simmered in a tomato broth until tender.
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🍆What is Vegan Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant?
Vegan Lebanese stuffed eggplant, also known as "batinjan mahshi," is based on my family’s traditional stuffed eggplant dish.
Usually made with eggplant that has been hollowed out and filled with a mixture of rice, meat, and spices.
However, in this recipe, the filling is made with vegetables, herbs, rice and spices.
How to Pronounce Batinjan Mahshi
The proper pronunciation of "batinjan mahshi" is "bah·tin·jan mah·shee."
The Arabic words "batinjan" is “eggplant”, while "mahshi" means stuffed.
😋Why You'll Love this Recipe
- This Lebanese vegan stuffed eggplant recipe is a healthier version, with only one tablespoon of oil, which can be omitted altogether if desired
- A flavorful, wholesome and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner
- Dietary-friendly - vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, and soy-free diets
🍆Ingredients You'll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Eggplants are the star of the show in this dish.
Choose straight, firm, long and narrow eggplants that are all similar in size (medium-sized about 15cm long (6 inches) with good girth). These are known as Chinese or Japanese eggplants.
The best ones are not too skinny and can easily be cored.
Avoid the bent ones as they are difficult to hollow out.
Medium-grain rice is the main filler in these vegan stuffed eggplants. You can use long grain too.
Brown onion will be finely chopped, almost minced which will be added to the filling.
Tomato will also be finely chopped, almost minced and added to the filling. It is best to use a firm yet ripe tomato.
Parsley will need to be finely chopped. Use only the leaves and the soft stems.
Dried mint is used to add a touch of minty flavor to the filling mixture. A little of this ingredient goes a long way.
Fresh mint leaves can be used instead, once it has been finely chopped.
Crushed garlic cloves, will add a pungent and aromatic flavor to the filling mixture. You can skip this if you prefer.
Salt and black pepper for flavor enhancement.
Olive oil has been reduced to one tablespoon, if you are on an oil-free diet, feel free to leave this out.
Pomegranate molasses has a sweet and tangy flavor and will be used in the sauce and the filling.
I highly recommend not skipping this ingredient if possible.
It can easily be found at your local Middle Eastern grocer, some major supermarkets might also sell it, or you can purchase it online here (affiliate link).
Pine nuts will be dry pan-toasted to release their natural oils and boost their nutty flavor. These will be added to the filling for a crunchy texture.
Frozen peas are added to the filling, adding a mild sweetness.
Tomato paste is used for the rich and intense tomato flavor in the filling mixture and is diluted in water to make the broth.
Lebanese 7 spice is a blend of 7 spices and has a bold flavor. You can make this yourself through this Lebanese 7 spice recipe, or buy it at your local Middle Eastern grocer, or you can purchase it online here (affiliate link)
🍆How to Make Lebanese Vegan Stuffed Eggplant
Coring the eggplants
Step One - Cut off the tops of the eggplants, this will become the opening. Use an electric corer (affiliate link) to hollow the flesh, this is the easiest method.
Tip: Reserve the eggplant flesh to make baba ghanouj or use it in a fry-up.
Prepare the Filling Mixture
Step Two - Over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan, add pine nuts and toast until golden.
In a large bowl combine all of the filling ingredients, rice, finely diced tomato, onion, garlic, frozen peas, parsley, dried mint, Lebanese 7 spice, salt, pepper, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and tomato paste.
Step Three - Fill the eggplants with the rice mixture, and gently tap down the eggplants to help the rice filling fall to the bottom of the eggplant. Repeat until all eggplants are filled.
Tip: as the eggplants are malleable, they can be gently massaged to help the rice go down.
Step Four - In a mixing jug, combine the tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, salt, and water. Pour about 2 cups worth into a large pot.
Place the stuffed eggplants into the pot lying down. Pour the remaining broth on top of the eggplants.
Step Five - Place a heat-safe plate on top of the eggplants in the pot, cover with a lid, and bring to a soft boil on high heat then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until the eggplants are fully cooked and tender.
Tip: Use a fork to pierce the skin, if it pierces through with ease, the eggplants are cooked.
Step Ten - Remove the pot from heat and allow the eggplant to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve in a bowl with some of the broth.
Tip: if there is any leftover stuffing, which can happen due to the size of the eggplant, this can be used to stuff tomato or zucchini or peppers which can be cooked in the same pot.
The most common way to enjoy Lebanese vegan stuffed eggplants is with freshly cut onion on the side for a burst of fresh flavor in every bite.
Or enjoy it with a crisp Arabic salad and crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Lebanese stuffed eggplants can be made using various types of eggplants including Globe, Japanese/Chinese, Indian, and Italian. Note, the type of eggplant will change the amount of rice filling needed. For this specific recipe, Chinese/Japanese eggplants have been used. When selecting an eggplant, factor in the best way to serve it. E.g., if you are using globe eggplants, these are very large.
Store leftover stuffed eggplant in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days upon it cooling down to room temperature. Reheat as needed.
If you like batinjan mahshi, then you will enjoy these vegan Lebanese stuffed recipes too.
Otherwise, try my Lebanese moussaka featuring eggplants, it is known as maghmour.
Or try this Middle Eastern eggplant dip called moutabal.
Here's a non Lebanese recipe for Georgian food eggplant with walnuts recipe.
If you're keen on vegan Arabic foods, check out this list of vegan Middle Eastern recipes.
Lebanese Vegan Stuffed Eggplant (Batinjan Mahshi)
- 14 medium -large Long eggplants
- 1⅓ cups medium grain rice
- 1 small - medium tomato finely diced
- 1 small - medium onion finely diced
- ⅓ cup parsley finely chopped
- ⅓ cup pine nuts dry toasted
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- 3 small cloves garlic crushed
- ¾ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive Oil
Coring the eggplants
- Cut off the tops of the eggplants, this will become the opening. Use an electric corer to hollow the flesh. Reserve the eggplant flesh for other recipes.14 medium -large Long eggplants
Prepare the Filling Mixture
- Over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan, add pine nuts and toast until golden. In a large bowl combine all of the filling ingredients, rice, finely diced tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, dried mint, salt, pepper, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and tomato paste.1⅓ cups medium grain rice, 1 small - medium tomato, 1 small - medium onion, ⅓ cup parsley, ⅓ cup pine nuts, 1 cup frozen peas, ½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses, ¼ cup tomato paste, ½ teaspoon dried mint, 3 small cloves garlic, ¾ tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice, 1 tablespoon olive Oil, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fill the eggplants with the rice mixture, and gently tap down the eggplants to help the rice filling fall to the bottom of the eggplant. Repeat until all eggplants are filled
- In a mixing jug, combine the tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, salt and water. Pour about 2 cups worth into a large pot. Place the stuffed eggplants into the pot lying down. Pour the remaining broth on top of the eggplants¾ cup tomato paste, 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, 7 cups water, ¾ tablespoon salt
- Place a heat-safe plate on top of the eggplants in the pot, cover with a lid and bring to a soft boil on high heat. Reduce, heat to low and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until the eggplants are fully cooked and tender
- Remove the pot from heat and allow the eggplant to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve in a bowl with the broth on top.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.