Osh Pyozee are Afghan Stuffed Onions. Soft onion layers are used as a wrapper for a savory lamb, Feta and prune filling. Serve one as an appetizer, 2 or 3 as a main dish.
There's something special about stuffed vegetables. I love the different textures and melding of flavors, and the presentation is exciting. They come out of the oven soft and browned and looking delicious, like a beautifully wrapped present.
I've stuffed many a vegetable: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cabbages, to name a few. But when I learned about Osh Pyozee, (that's the Afghan name for "Stuffed Onions"), I was immediately intrigued. Onions are one of my favorite vegetables and I've never thought to stuff them.
In this recipe, the onions are boiled and softened so the layers can be separated. Each onion layer becomes the wrapper for the lamb, feta and prune filling. Because of their shape, the onions layers naturally curl around the filling and close up at each end. (remember to only cut halfway through the onion when you trim it, so you get a whole large layer of onion to wrap with)
There is no need to add any liquid to the casserole before cooking. The onions release plenty of moisture while they cook.
In Afghanistan meals are traditionally served on a large table cloth called a dastarkhan, that is spread over the floor. Diners sit on cushions and share communal plates of food, often including rice, bread (Nan), stews, vegetables and chutneys. Food is eaten with the right hand - no utensils are used. A hand-washing ritual is customary before the start of a meal.
I like the idea of serving these Afghan style - on a communal platter, surrounded by colorful vegetables and salads. Or serve them as a tapas-style appetizer - one tasty onion roll on a small plate. I tried eating one without utensils. It was great! I'd like to say that I did it to be true to Afghan customs but truth be told I just couldn't resist grabbing one and biting into it.
Here's the recipe for Osh Pyozee: Stuffed Onions from Afghanistan. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print