Iraqi Stuffed Onions (Dolma Mahshi)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Pomegranate molasses, coriander, and curry powder perfume the filling for these tender stuffed onion rolls from Aladdin's Castle Cafe. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Dana Bowen's story Food of the People.


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 13 finely chopped cilantro
  • 14 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 14 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large white onions
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 14-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, pureed
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac, plus more to garnish
  • Greek-style yogurt, to serve


Step 1

Make the stuffing: Combine rice, parsley, oil, cilantro, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt and pepper, and 1 1⁄2 cups water in a bowl; let sit until the rice begins to soak up some of the liquid, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, trim the tops and bottoms from onions and peel outer layer; place in a 6-qt. saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until onions are tender to the core, about 30 minutes; drain and let cool.

Step 3

Cut each onion halfway around the side and peel off each whole layer to get about 4 to 5 large layers each. Stuff each layer with 2 tbsp. stuffing and roll up into a football-shaped roll; place rolls in a single layer in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Pour stock and tomatoes over rolls and sprinkle with sumac; season with salt and pepper.

Step 4

Heat oven to 375°. Bake until filling is cooked through and sauce is reduced around rolls, about 1 hour. Divide rolls among serving plates and sprinkle with more sumac; serve with the yogurt.

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