My sisters mother-in-law, from Egypt, made these stuffed zucchini many years ago, and I've been dreaming about the flavor that was dancing on my tongue when I ate this dish. I decided to put a recipe together to mimic the flavor of the dish I had so many years ago. This is a delicious recipe that includes protein, vegetables and rice, all in one bite.
Don't forget to make the Matabal Kousa (zucchini yogurt) to go with this dish and serve with either warm pita bread or naan for dipping.
Stuffed Zucchini with meat/rice - Egyptian Style (Kousa Mahshi)
8 small zucchini
1 - 15 oz jar chopped tomatoes
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 large potato, sliced
1 lb. ground beef or lamb or a mixture of beef/lamb
1/2 cup white rice (Uncle Ben's), uncooked
1/2 onion, shredded
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 T. fresh mint, minced
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
Add 1/2 cup rice to a measuring cup and cover with water. Let soak for 15 minutes..
In a large pan, slice potatoes and lay on the bottom of the pan. This helps to prevent the zucchini from sticking to the bottom of the pan and they are a good addition. Mix together the can of diced tomatoes,1/2 can of tomato paste and 3 garlic cloves and pour over the potatoes. Bring to a simmer while you prepare the zucchini.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and some pulp (set aside). I used an apple corer. Set zucchini aside and keep the pulp in a separate bowl so you can make the Mutabal Kousa (zucchini yogurt dip).
In a small bowl, combine meat, onion, 3 cloves garlic, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, allspice, paprika and cayenne pepper. Drain the uncooked rice and add to this mixture. Mix until combined.
Stuff zucchini with mixture above. Once the zucchini is stuffed either lay them in your pan open faced or push together both sides of the zucchini, putting the zucchini back together with the meat keeping them together. Place the zucchini into the pan on top of the potatoes.
Mix together the other half can of tomato paste with a can of water, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Pour this over top of the zucchini so the zucchini are covered in sauce.
Let this simmer on the stove for 45 minutes with the lid on.
I had some extra meat mixture left over, so I made meatballs and laid them on top of the filled zucchini. They cooked in the juice and steamed.