Egyptian Style Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (Mashy Crump)

"These are a bit time consuming to make, but believe once you make, you will be asked to make again and again. This is vegetarian, but you could add a bit of cooked ground beef to rice stuffing mixture, but awesome even without. Many mediterraen countries make these, but this recipe is authentic Egyptian preparation. Enjoy!"
photo by cooking in cairo... photo by cooking in cairo...
photo by cooking in cairo...
photo by cooking in cairo... photo by cooking in cairo...
Ready In:
3hrs 45mins




  • Rice stuffing mixture:

  • On top of stove, put a good amount oil or butter; add chopped onion and pureed onion sauté. Add garlic when onions almost finished not to burn.
  • Add a spoon of tomato paste and stir around until all coated.
  • Add pureed tomato, a few drops of water and cook until liquid is almost gone. It should be a little thick, not too watery. You can add some salt to taste to this too.
  • Set aside.
  • Put washed rice in mixing bowl. Add the above tomato mixture. Add raw, chopped greens- parsley, dill and cilantro. Its okay to chop some of their stems, gives the mixture more flavor. Add a little canola oil.
  • Add all spices and dry mint. Take 1 chicken bouillon cube and crush it, add to rice.
  • Mix all ingredients until well blended set aside. Try to taste, will be raw I know, but you can taste and not swallow rice. Adjust seasonings. Salt is most important, if too salty, don’t worry, once cooked it will lessen.
  • Cooking Cabbage:

  • This is the trickiest part. I have not yet found the perfect way, but my way has been working alright…here it goes.
  • Wash the head of cabbage well. With a paring knife, gently cut around core, loosening it a bit. Try to cup deep, but try not to cut leaves, or separate at this point.
  • Using a large pot, fill with water, and a few dashes of cumin. Once boiling, add the head of cabbage, with core facing up.
  • As the cabbage starts to cook, with a knife, gently pull away leaves from core and cook until a bit soft, but not translucent.
  • So you will have the large head of cabbage in pot and you will be cutting leaves and letting them boil alone aside the head. (Hope this makes sense.).
  • When the leaves are a bit soft, tender not translucent, remove to a large tray.
  • Continue this until all cabbage is cooked.
  • You will have the very small leaves towards inside core, you will be able to use some of these, but some maybe too small. I usually make a cabbage salad with these.
  • Once the leaves are cool, you will begin to stuff.
  • Rolling/stuffing the cabbage:

  • Prepare a large pot, put some oil in bottom of pot to coat.
  • Slice 1 large tomato thinly and place on bottom of pot. You will arrange cabbage in this pot as you roll.
  • Take a cabbage leaf and cut from the bottom, where core starts.
  • Cut away the hard core and reserve the two sides from leaf making a pile.
  • Save a few of the cores stems as well.
  • Tricky but you are trying to get a pliable leaf for rolling.
  • You want to make the leaf small, cutting a half of the leaf in half. The end result should be size of small cigar.
  • Don't worry about how they look, they will not be real tight and they may seem like the rice will come out, just close as best you can, they will be fine.
  • So with leaf laying flat, spoon a small amount of rice onto leaf, fold up bottom and roll like a cigar. Don't worry the ends will be open, but cook ok. Some rice may boil out but not much trust me.
  • Roll all until leaves are finished.
  • Once all rolled and arranged in pot, add a crushed chicken bouillon cube. As you are arranging in pot, you can put a few of the core stems in between layers to help stay in place.
  • Take approximately 3 cups water and mix with tomato paste, pour over cabbage. Water should reach just above cabbage. If not enough, add more water.
  • Take an old plate, invert it over cabbage to keep from moving too much.
  • Put on high, bring to a boil, cook for about 10 minutes, then turn to a lower simmer and cover.
  • Should cook for approximately an hour or so, you can check it periodically by tasting to see if rice is cooked inside.
  • Once cooked let sit for a little to cool a bit before removing from pot.
  • When ready to remove, take a large serving platter, put over top of pot, then flip pot to empty onto platter. Be careful and do over sink if you are unsure. Its easy but take s a little practice.
  • Remove core stems, fix tomatoes that are on top, to look presentable.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Cooking Mother
    Thank you very much for such a detailed way to prepare these, I was lacking a few spices and slight alterations here and there, but they still came out very good and am going to add this to my dinner menu's from now on. I also tried the method( safa suggested, thank you too!) for when when boiling the cabbage and found it was working well. This is the first time I've made these, but I'll be using this recipe again and again. Thank you!
  2. Safa1356
    This is exactly how I make's something that I do that might help you with boiling the cabbage....I have one of those big forks...u know the kind that you are supposed to hold a roast beef with? Well...after I cut out all of the stem...I push the fork in there to help me hold it while I am peeling off the leaves. It makes it easier to handle...
  3. liseestellelirette
    Great recipe. I cook mine in spicy Clamato juice and I do add 1/2 cup of thinly chopped parsley.
  4. chubbylamchop
    Another Masterpiece by Cooking in Cairo! This dish was awesome! I've been making my way through all your recipes and they are all excellent. This was better than any crump I had in Egypt or anywhere in fact :) Everything worked out perfectly - it was my first time making mashy and your filling is fantastic. I made warac einab (stuffed grape leaves) with the same filling as well. Please Please keep writing more authentic egyptian recipes!!
  5. Ruqaiyah K.
    The best way to prepare the cabbage, is a method used in other Arab countries - place whole head of fresh uncut/ unpared cabbage into the FREEZER, leave it there for as long as you like (weeks ok), then take it out and let it defrost - either in the fridge or benchtop. You'll find it softened and then you can cut out the core easily and the leaves fall off beautifully. Next step is to cut and sort the thick veiny pieces and the thinner more delicate pieces, wash the outer leaves, and then boil the thick leaves in a batch, and the thinner leaves in a separate batch, to control how long to boil each batch. I actually throw all the ingredients into the rice raw, I don't even sautee onion anymore.


  1. Chemistry Teacher
    I do modify a few of the cooking directions. First, cut out the core of the cabbage before cooking then peel off the leaves as they cook. This is how I learned to do it when making Polish cabbage rolls. Second, the cabbage rolls in Egypt are more like cigarette size than cigar size. Cut your leaves to 2 in x 3 in rectangles (possibly a little larger but not much). Then put 1-2 tsp of filling and roll tightly. There are videos out there on how they do this in Egypt. I started rolling my cabbage rolls they way the directions say and was then chastised by my Egyptian significant other. He showed me a video, and then we proceeded to roll them together, I like to make the filling ahead of time and then come back make the cabbage rolls later in the day. It makes it seem less time consuming. Oh! I do use the tomato-chicken bouillon (instead of plain chicken) that is sold in the Hispanic food aisle.


<p>I'm an American living in Cairo, have lots of free time and love to cook! My friend told me I know the science of food, that I am a food scientist; I was like what??? She said that I put together ingredients that she would never think of, that I know what goes with what, what tastes and works... honestly I really don't know about that, but I do love cooking. I like experimenting and making delicious, but simple meals. I love fresh ingredients, spices and enjoy preparing food for friends. I am so pleased when I see the enjoyment they get from my food. Please be patient with my recipe posts, some may seem lengthy, but I like to explain well so you will get it the first time. I appreciate this from others, so I hope you will too. Also, I never measure anything, so I will try my best to give measurements that will work for you. Anyway, enjoy my recipes on!</p>
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