← Back to Search Results
roasting Jewish, Middle Eastern, Syria
Tomatoes Stuffed with Ground Meat and Rice

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

Mehshi Banadoura

If you are using fresh local tomatoes at their peak, they may be very juicy. After coring, strain the excess liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving ½ cup to add to the dish in step 3. Plum tomatoes are preferred because they hold their shape better than larger tomato varieties; they are usually sweeter and less acidic as well. However, any type of tomato will suffice, especially vine ripened tomatoes at the height of summer.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 medium Italian plum tomatoes, pulp and seeds removed
  • 1 pound hashu (Aleppian Ground Meat and Rice Filling)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons ouc (tamarind concentrate), homemade or store-bought (see Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Fill the tomatoes loosely with hashu.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil into a large ovenproof saucepan or roaster. Place the stuffed tomatoes in the pan so they are upright. Sprinkle with the salt. Drizzle some of the lemon juice into the center of each tomato. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil liberally around pan. Dollop a teaspoon of ouc over each tomato and sprinkle with the sugar, if desired.

4. Cover and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the juices have thickened.

Notes

The tamarind fruit yields an intriguing flavor that appears in the cuisines of India, Southeast Asia, Persia, and Mexico. Tamarind is redolent of apricots and dates and imparts a tangy, sour flavor. It is used as a base for sauces, a condiment, a soft drink flavoring, a sweetmeat, and as a folk remedy for ailing intestines, livers, and kidneys.

Tamarind also has a connection to the Middle East. For one thing, the word “tamarind” is derived from the Arabic tamr hindi, meaning “Indian date.” Tamarind first appeared in the souqs of the Levant from India via Persia around the seventh and eighth centuries. Despite its place in Persian cuisine, tamarind never gained wide acceptance in the Middle Eastern repertoire.

Aleppian Jews, however, flavor many of their dishes with tamarind concentrate, or ouc (pronounced OO-c), and many still make ouc from scratch, despite the widespread availability of quality concentrates in local Syrian food shops. It’s important to use a good-quality tamarind; it can make or break a dish. Some ouc specialists start out with 20 or 30 pounds of tamarind pulp, enough for at least several months’–if not a full year’s–supply.

Ouc is derived from the pulp found in the pods that grow from the hardy tamarind tree. Latin American, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern grocers sell dried tamarind pods and cakes of the pulp, intact or compressed in large sticky blocks.

To make ouc, the pulp is soaked and strained to remove any seeds and plant matter, and to extract the fruit’s flavor. This soaking and straining procedure is repeated up to 3 times. The tamarind liquid is reduced by half and then combined with sugar and lemon juice and boiled until viscous, nearly black, and lip-smackingly sour. It is fine to use ouc sparingly, as it can last for a year in the fridge.

Ouc is a subtler souring agent than lemon, tangier than pomegranate syrup, and has a deeper flavor than tomato. Ouc while itself rather acidic, enhances other acids, such as tomato paste, apricot, and lemon juice, rounding them out with a vibrant tang and earthiness.


© 2007 Poopa Dweck
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional Information is based on 8 servings, but does not include Aleppian Ground Meat and Rice Filling. For nutritional information on Aleppian Ground Meat and Rice Filling, please follow the link above.

71kcal (4%)
19mg (2%)
26mg (44%)
78mcg RAE (3%)
445mg
21mg
2g
6g
2g
9g
0mg (0%)
300mg (13%)
0g (1%)
4g (6%)
1mg (3%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
west-coast-cooking West Coast Cooking
by Greg Atkinson
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
how-to-be-a-domestic-goddess How to be a Domestic Goddess
by Nigella Lawson
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
living-raw-food Living Raw Food
by Sarma Melngailis
american-masala American Masala
by Suvir Saran
lucindas-authentic-jamaican-kitchen Lucinda's Authentic Jamaica...
by Lucinda Scala Quinn
good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
in-the-kitchen-with-david In the Kitchen with David
by David Venable
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?