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A Recipe for Mafrum (Libyan Stuffed Vegetables)

From the Libyan cuisine, a mixture of ground beef and spices is sandwiched inside a potato and cooked in tomato sauce

Vered Guttman
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Vered Guttman
User rating:
3.5 Stars
Cooking Time:
90 minutes

Mafrum is a dish from the Libyan cuisine. A mixture of ground beef and spices is sandwiched inside a potato and cooked in tomato sauce.


For the filling:

  • 1.5 lb. ground beef chuck

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (or matzo meal)

  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Pinch nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the mafrum:

  • 5 large potatoes (Yukon Gold)

  • 1 cup flour or matzo meal

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 carrots, sliced to 1/4 rounds

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Mix the ingredients of the filling.

2. Peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes lengthwise to about 1/2 slices. Each slice you then slice again lengthwise, but leave the two slices intact, so you can get a V shape if you gently open them. (The filling will go inside the V). Keep the potato leftovers.

3. Divide the filling to the number potato slices you have and shape the meat into large meatballs. Fill each potato slice with the filling to get a triangular shape.

4. Put the flour in a medium size bowl and the eggs in another. Mix the eggs with the salt. Deep each mafrum with flour and then with the eggs and put on a tray.

5. Heat 1/4 oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the mafrum on both sides. Fry in 2-3 batches. Transfer the mafrum back to the tray.

6. In a large pan with a lid that can hold all the mafrum heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, garlic and potato leftovers and fry for a couple of minutes. Add tomato paste and paprika and fry for a minute more. Now add 2 cups of boiling water and mix to get a smooth sauce. Add salt, and then arrange the mafrum in the sauce.

7. Bring to boil, lower the heat to minimum, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 15 minutes longer. Serve the mafrum with its sauce over couscous.

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