Monday, July 23, 2012

Stuffed Baby Zucchini with Tomato Sauce (Kosa Makshi)

Stuffed Baby Zucchini with Tomato Sauce Kousa mahshi)

Kousa Mehshi (Stuffed Zucchini) is an Arabic main dish spread in the mediterranean region . I omit the mince beef/ lamb, this simple and tasty dish makes a great vegetarian option for the Ramadhan diet.
I learned to make this dish while visiting my sister in-law in Syria. She is a truly amazing woman; she excels at whatever she puts her hands to, and of course she is a fantastic cook! Since I’m a beginner at speaking Arabic and in the kitchen involved a lot of pointing, gesturing, nodding, and excitement when the other person finally understood what was being communicated. But that just made it all the more memorable. In Syria, the zucchini is a lot smaller than the zucchini typically found here (a 6” zucchini there is pretty big!), so at first I wasn’t sure how to make this dish with our jumbo-sized zucchini.
Then a solution struck me, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner – just cut the zucchini into smaller pieces before hollowing it out! It worked brilliantly. Also, just in case you have a bounty of other vegetables from your garden you need to use up, you can use this recipe to make stuffed eggplant, tomato and peppers.

Rice mixture
500gms baby Zucchini, stalks trimmed, washed
1/2 cup egyptian rice , washed and drained
1/2 tomato-finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pc MAGGI cube
2 tbsp fresh corrainder leraves-finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsely leaves-finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh onion spring-finely chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp dry mints
1/4 tsp arab mix spices
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

sauce mixture
1ps MAGGI cube
1/4 tsp dry mints
1/4 tsp arabic mixed spices
1/4 cup tomato paste
700 ml water
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
Lebanese bread, to serve
Natural yoghurt, to serve

Hallow the zucchini, wash well and set aside.
In a large saucepan combine rice, spring onion, spices, garlic, parsely, corainder, lemon juice, dry mints, MAGGI cube, black pepper, arabic mixed spices, olive oil, cinnamon powder and tomato.
Stuff the zucchini with the rice mixture.
Fill each zucchini shell about three-quarters full with the rice mixture and arrange in a casserole with a single layer.
Cover with sauce mixture.
Place plates on top of the zucchini to press them down.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until zucchini and rice are very tender and soft.
Divide among serving dishes and pour over broth.
Serve with bread and yoghurt

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