Fun with Zucchini, Part One: Koussa Mehchi (Stuffed Zucchini)

It’s funny… Every time I cook this meal, a different childhood memory comes to my mind. My mother’s cousin had 14 children, can you imagine? When she wanted to make the stuffed zucchini for her family, she would buy about 12 kilos of it and she asked my mother to come and help her. I sat with them a couple of times while they would drink coffee and core the zucchini. It took them a good while of time to prepare them, to cook them later in that huge pot that could fit a whole lamb!

This dish is a staple in the Arab countries, and each country has its own variation on it. Mostly however, the changes are superficial and the taste remains mostly the same. Today, I will be showing you the Lebanese recipe of course. You’re going to enjoy getting your hands dirty 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of small Zucchini
  • 100 gs minced meat
  • 1 cup of rice (preferably Egyptian orItalian rice)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • salt and seven spices

Preparation:

  • Fry the meat in oil for about 4 minutes, until it becomes light brown
  • Wash the zucchini and cut the head. Then with a vegetable corer, remove the insides (but don’t throw them away! Tomorrow, I will show you how to make a delicious dish using them.)  When done, wash and drain them
  • Wash the uncooked rice and mix it with the cooked meat, add salt and seven spices
  • Fill the zucchini with the meat and rice mixture, until 3/4 full only; leave some space for the rice to expand when cooked
  • Place the stuffed zucchini in a pot, cover with water, add the tomato paste and season
  • Cook on high heat until it starts boiling then lower the heat with the pot covered and let it simmer for about 25 minutes
  • You know it is cooked when the rice is tender

If you have any remaining rice from the stuffing, don’t worry: put them in a small casserole with double volume of water and let it cook until the rice becomes dry. Then serve the Koussa Mehchi with the rice on the side.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT! 🙂