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Yalanchi (Iraqi rice-stuffed tomatoes)Yalanchi

Iraqi rice-stuffed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Cut the top off of each tomato. Remove core from tops and finely chop remaining flesh; set aside. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out tomatoes; turn upside down on paper towels to drain. Discard pulp and seeds. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped tomato tops, raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon; mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer, about four minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked rice. Season with salt and black pepper; mix until well blended. Fill tomatoes with mixture; place in a greased baking pan. Drizzle remaining olive oil on tomatoes. Bake until tender but still firm, about twenty-five minutes. Serve.


Variation: Substitute rice with couscous, such as box-packaged Near East brand with pine nuts.


*Yalanchi image (C) Shenanchie (2013).


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