Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce محشي كوس باللبن

Mashi is a very popular Arabic word for so many different variations of stuffed vegetables. In Palestine, we stuff a variety of vegetables, mainly with rice, meat, and spices or can be also made vegan, with just rice and some vegetables. The most popular stuffed vegetables are middle eastern zucchini (or some call them squash) and eggplants. Now the zucchinis I’m talking about are a different type of zucchini that is available at the average American grocery store. Those can be found at any store that sells Mediterranean produce, some also call them squash. Make sure to pick the medium size ones.

Even with the stuffed zucchinis, there are few recipes that can also be made. So, today I’m sharing this one with yogurt sauce.

So here is how to make stuffed zucchinis.

The most important and probably time consuming part is hollowing the zucchinis from inside in order to make space for the stuffing. First, wash all well and rinse from water, with a knife start by taking the top out and stem from the bottom. With a manakra gently start by taking out the insides of the zucchinis to make space for stuffing, make sure not to poke the bottom, gently roll in the manakra and start off with a little cut and slowly pick at it, round it until you make enough space, continue the process until all zucchinis are done. Make sure not to make the zucchinis too thin, so they won’t break during cooking.

Prepare the stuffing, which consists of rice, ground beef, salt, oil, and spices. As for the meat, I’m using ground beef here because it’s just easier, however, the meat needs to be cut small but not necessary ground, it’s not available here in any market and it is more time consuming to cut it at home, so using ground is a time savior and still taste just as good. In Palestine, you go to any butcher and ask for mahshi meat and they’ll have it ready for you, I think they have the machine that controls the size for mahshi meat. However, here it might be a bit of a challenge to find places like that.

So once the ingredients are ready, just mix all together with hands. Start stuffing the zucchinis by taking a small amount with your hand and insert inside the zucchini, make sure the zucchinis are not filled all the way to the end and try not to push too much of the stuffing, just gently stuff it in, because rice is uncooked and needs some space, if it’s filled up the zucchinis may break during cooking. Also just fill up to ¾ of each zucchini.

Once all the zucchinis are stuffed place them in a pot and cover with boiled water, cover the lid and let it boil for about 8-10 minutes only. The ideas here is to cook the zucchinis halfway before adding the yogurt.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt with corn starch and salt, stir well over medium heat until yogurt turns slightly thick. Rinse all water from zucchinis and replace it with the yogurt sauce.

Allow the zucchinis to cook with the yogurt on low heat uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Sauté crushed garlic with oil until golden brown and dump it over the zucchinis.

Sprinkle dried mint.

The zucchinis can be tested with a fork and to make sure they softened. If they are not fully soft you can let them cook for a few more minutes.

This recipe is enough for 2-3 people.

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Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce محشي كوس باللبن

  • Author: Wafa Shami

Ingredients

Scale

 

  • 12 zucchinis (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound ground meat (beef or lamb)
  • 3/4 cup rice (uncooked and soaked with water for 10 minutes) cal rose or Egyptian rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 1/4 cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2.5 cups yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 34 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the stuffing ingredients: rice, ground meat, oil, all the spices, salt, and pepper. Mix everything well by hand. Set aside.
  2. With a knife remove the very top of the zucchini and the stem at the bottom. With a manakra gently start by taking out the insides of the zucchinis to make space for stuffing, make sure not to poke the bottom by gently roll in the manakra and start off with a little whole and slowly pick at it, round it until you make enough space, continue the process until all zucchinis are done.
  3. Start stuffing the zucchinis by taking a small amount with your hands and insert inside the zucchini, make sure the zucchinis are not filled all the way to the end and try not to push too much of the stuffing, just gently stuff it in, because rice is uncooked and needs some space to swell, if it’s filled up the zucchinis may break during cooking. Just fill up to ¾ of each zucchini.
  4. Once all the zucchinis are stuffed, place them in a pot and cover with boiled water, cover the lid and let it boil for about 8-10 minutes only.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the yogurt with cornstarch and salt, stir well over medium heat until yogurt turns slightly thick. Rinse all water from zucchinis and replace it with the yogurt sauce.
  6. Allow the zucchinis to cook with the yogurt on low heat uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  7. The zucchinis can be tested with a fork and to make sure they softened.
  8. Sauté crushed garlic with oil until golden brown and dump over the zucchinis.
  9. Sprinkle dried mint.

2 Comment
Sunena Sabharwal June 16, 2019
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Wow, what a nice dish and beautiful presentation; great new idea for zucchini, which is a bland vegetable. I can’t wait to try it!