Mechshe Basal, or Stuffed Onions

There are a lot of things you can stuff with hashu to turn into a meal. This time, I used ground turkey and (half-cooked) brown rice to make a healthier mechshe.

Since our mom doesn’t like onions, this mechshe wasn’t something we ate much growing up, but it’s definitely still one of my favorites! I love the flavor of slow-cooked onions, which get sweet and caramelized in the oven, and the contrast with tart tamarind sauce is perfect.

Since stuffing these is quite a process, I like to make a double batch and freeze half, so that next time the cravings hits, I can cook up a batch right away; no need to defrost, just cook the frozen onions for a bit longer.

The onions


  • 3 large or 4 small yellow onions
  • 1 pound hashu
  • 1 cup of water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • salt


  1. Remove the skin from the onions by cutting a slit from top to bottom.
  2. Place the onions in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, until the onions are soft and pliable.
  3. Drain the onions and separate the layers.
  4. Stuff the onion layers: place a spoonful of hashu into each onion layer and roll tightly. At this point, the mechshe can be frozen, or proceed to step 5.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350.
  6. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, place the onions in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and pour the mixture over the onions. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast for an hour. Serve hot.