Zucchini Mechshie with Tamarind & Prunes

Written by chanie on October 1st, 2014

I’ve talked a lot about mechshie (a Syrian dish of stuffed vegetables) on my blog, especially around the holidays. I decided to keep up the tradition, and for the third year in a row, I’m sharing a stuffed vegetable recipe in honor of Sukkot. The tradition of eating stuffed foods on Succot is symbolic of an abundant harvest season. Since the wheat is harvested in Israel during the fall, we stuff foods to symbolize our desire for an overflowing harvest. This is popularly done with stuffed cabbage, or holipches, which some say are also made to resemble the scrolls of a Torah.


Ever since I married into a Sephardic family, I can’t get enough of my mother-in-laws delicious mechshie dishes! I’m slowly learning to cook different variations, adapting my favorite recipe with the additions of tamarind, pomegranate molasses and different types of vegetables and dried fruit.

When I spotted beautiful globe zucchini in the market, I just knew I had to turn it into some kind of mechshie. The small, round zucchini were perfect for filling, and I decided to work in some tamarind paste, an ingredient essential to Sephardic cooking. It adds a hint of sourness to the sweet dish, a perfect pairing with the plump dried prunes.

So let’s get stuffin’!

More Mechshie Recipes:

stuffed baby eggplant mechshie
zucchini and tomato mechshie “ratatouille”

More “Stuffed” Recipes:

corned beef arancini
Passover stuffed cabbage (replace potatoes with rice)
collard stuffed sweet potatoes
sausage and apple stuffed butternut squash
spinach stuffed mushrooms
stuffed chicken roulade
Israeli stuffed eggplants

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24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ana says:

    Hi, this is NOT Sephardic but middle eastern food. We the Sephardim indeed do stuffed vegetables but not this type in particular.
    If your husband’s family are immigrants from Syria or Lebanon or Iran or Iraq, they are not Sephardim. They are Mizrahim although they are mistakenly called Sephardim.
    Chag Sameach!

  2. Renee says:

    IF I don’t have time to find tamarind sauce or can’t find with a hechsher, can I replace with anything else? This looks delicious!!

    • chanie says:

      Hi Renee, you can try with pomegranate molasses. It’s got tang like tamarind, I think it could work. Just taste the sauce to see if it needs more sugar, or start with less molasses. You can also leave it out altogether, it’s still really good without it.

  3. This looks divine! I’m going to vegetarianize this because I just can’t get this flavour combination out of my head!

  4. Diana says:

    Hello Chanie! We had sent you an inquiry for collaboration on August 24 but did not receive any reply from you. So we have sent it again since it might have gone to your spam box. We would greatly appreciate if you get back to us and tell us what you think about our offer. Thanks!

  5. Mechshie always reminds me of my grandmother, we always look forward to her cooking. Great Recipe, love the combination of the dry fruits and tomatoes.

  6. Tamar Genger says:

    I got to try this, I think I would like this version better than the original, the flavors sound perfect.

  7. Andy Scotts says:

    Hi Chanie! This recipe is perfect for my needs. I am looking for a new dish that will make my family appreciate a well put together meal and it is healthy.

  8. Yael says:

    How many ounces is the can of tomato sauce that you use in the recipe?

  9. Finn says:

    This looks awesome, can’t wait to try it out!

  10. I look out for your mechshie posts – I remember reading one and how you connected it to family. I really loved that, so now I am always on the look out for more!

  11. linda says:

    Made this for shabbat lunch and my husband almost fainted he liked it so much! Made a few minor tweaks (less sugar, tamarind, and prunes; am in an ottolenghi state-of-mind so i added buccarat, and was out of tomato sauce so i added canned tomatoes + onion + garlic & onion salt) and we enjoyed with a cold, bitter bazelet ale. it was a complete meal in itself!

  12. Lauren says:

    Do you need to cook the rice first?

  13. Leeor says:

    Hi Chani!
    Does the rice need to be Pre cooked?
    Tia!

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