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Gemista "Yemista" English

Gemista "Yemista" English

“Yemista or Gemista”

"Yemista or Gemista", refers to the colorful peppers and tomatoes filled with rice. This traditional Greek dish falls into the category of "Ladera", meaning Greek dishes cooked with olive oil.

Cook time: 100 min

Preparation time: 45 min

Portions: 12 pieces (4-6 persons)


  • 6 big and juicy tomatoes
  • 6 colorful peppers
  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 350 g of rice " Karolina "
  • a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 ml of water
  • 2 tablespoons of mint
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of Greek extra virgin olive oil


This traditional Greek dish takes only 8 steps to make it and these are:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 C.

  2. Clean thoroughly your vegetables.

  3. Prepare the tomatoes: slice off the top of them and remove the flesh using a spoon. Keep it in a bowl, as this will be the base for the tomato sauce for the Yemista. Try to leave the tomatoes as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh. But be careful not to poke through their skin! Keep the lids (“kapakia” in Greek) to cover your tomatoes later. Place them on a large baking tray.

  4. Prepare the peppers: slice off the top of the peppers (½ - 1 cm from the center) and remove the seeds and white parts from the inside. Keep the lids. Place them on the baking tray.

  5. Prepare the potatoes: clean the skin and cut your potatoes into 4 equal pieces. Place them in a bowl with water, enough to cover them until we use them again later.

  6. Prepare the filling for the Yemista: Add the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions for less than a minute. Add the garlic and sauté until softened. Add the rice, salt/pepper and continue sautéing, until it becomes translucent (3-4 min). Pour in the tomato sauce, paste and the chopped tomatoes with the sugar and add the water. Cook for about 15 min and then remove the pan from the stove as soon as the liquid is absorbed. Add all the herbs and extra salt, if needed.

  7. Assemble the Yemista: Spoon the filling inside the empty vegetables. But only ¾ of each vegetable because the rice will increase when cooked in the oven. Place the potatoes, cut into pieces, in between the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and some extra mint. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Remember this dish belongs to the “Ladera” category, meaning cooked with olive oil! Cover the vegetables with their lids and add 1-2 glasses of water. Add any extra stuffing in the pan to make your potatoes more delicious.

  8. Cover the Gemista with aluminum foil and bake at 180 C for 100 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, remove the aluminum foil and bake, until nicely coloured.

Serve this delicious dish with a slice of feta " Dodoni " and your favorite " Mythos " beer!

Share your comments and thoughts about the recipe or any questions you might have.

Kali anorexia / Enjoy your meal!

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