Kousa Mihshi (Stuffed Zucchini) is an Arabic main dish and widely popular in this region. Minced beef / lamb is mixed with raw rice and spices and then stuffed inside the cored Kousa / koosa (marrow squash / Arabic zucchini) and cooked in tomato paste. I used minced chicken instead of red meat.... I got the basic recipe from my maid and then I searched on the net and made this dish to suit our taste buds.... While searching the net I remember reading on one site that you can make a vegetarian version of this dish by replacing the meat with chopped mushrooms, I never tried it though.... If you like zucchini you will enjoy this mildly spiced dish. Serve as a main dish along with some nice salad....
Arabic Stuffed Zucchini in Tomato Sauce / Kousa Mihshi
5 small Arabic zucchini / Kousa (Koosa)
125 gm minced beef / lamb / chicken
½ cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 small packet tomato paste
1 small tomato, diced
½ onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaf
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped coriander
¼ tsp chilly powder
½ to 1 tsp pepper powder
½ tsp allspice powder
A dash of lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 small potato (optional)
- Cut the stems from zucchini and scoop out each zucchini with a zucchini corer or apple corer, removing all seeds and leaving shells about ⅓ inch thick. Discard pulp and seeds. Rinse out the inside of zucchini with water, drain and keep aside. Check out this video to see how to core and stuff the zucchini.
- In a bowl, combine meat, rice, half of parsley, mint and coriander, ½ tsp pepper powder and salt.
- Stuff each zucchini with the mixture. Leave about a half inch of room at the end as rice will expand. Also do not stuff the mixture too tightly as the expanding rice will break the zucchini. (You can cover the top of zucchini with a round cut piece of potato, so that the filling won’t come out while cooking, this step is optional only as an extra precaution).
- Heat oil in a big pan, add chopped onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes or until light brown.
- Add diced tomato, tomato puree, chilly powder, all spice powder, pepper powder and salt to the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add stuffed zucchini to the pan.
- Add enough boiling water to cover the zucchini and let simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes or until the meat and rice in the stuffing is cooked thoroughly. (make sure not to stir a lot or the zucchini will break and the filling will come out).
- Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice over zucchini and sprinkle the cinnamon powder and left over parsley, mint and coriander leaves.
- Allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so or until the gravy is thick.
- Serve with a bowl of salad.
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