Stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi) recipe

Photo: Stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi) recipe

The Arabic Food Recipes kitchen (The Home of Delicious Arabic Food Recipes) invites you to try Stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi) recipe. Enjoy the Arabic Cuisine and  learn how to make Stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi).

This recipe can be adapted to be suitable for vegetarians (see below).


10 small pale green zucchinis, approx. 10 cm in length
2 heaped tbsp salt
2 heaped tbsp tomato paste or puree

1 cup long grain rice, washed
250g lean beef mince
1 medium tomato, diced
½ onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped coriander
¼ tsp ground chilli
1 tsp baharat or allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
20g softened butter
2 tbsp olive oil


Wash zucchini thoroughly under running water. Remove the stalk end, allowing for an opening of approx. 2 cm. Carefully trim the dried section at the other end but make sure not to remove too much, as the zucchini needs to be intact. Carefully hollow out the pulp, using a manakra (marrow scooper). Place one teaspoon of salt in a bowl of water and wash zucchini. Drain and set aside.

Thoroughly mix all the filling ingredients together. Fill each with mixture up to 1 cm from top, do not fill completely. It’s best to fill the zucchinis by hand, tapping them on the bench to settle the filling.

Fill a large pan with water and add the tomato paste. Add filled zucchinis and cover with lid. Bring to the boil, uncover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 60 minutes. Serve with a little of the sauce and a dollop of yoghurt.

- Washing zucchinis in salt water keeps them firm when cooking.

- For removing the pulp an instrument can be purchased at any Lebanese general store.

- Do not discard the pulp after hollowing out the zucchini, it can be set aside to make a delicious omelette.

- If any of the mixture if leftover, you can roll it into one or two balls and place in saucepan with zucchinis to cook.

- For vegetarian Kousa, replace the meat with cooked chick peas.

If you enjoyed this Stuffed zucchini recipe (kousa mahshi) then browse more Lebanese recipes, side dish recipes and our most popular orange and almond cake recipe.  

More Arabic Food recipes:
Stuffed Baby Zucchini with Tomato Sauce 
Lamb Stuffed Zucchini 
Beef & vegetable tagine 
Stuffed zucchini (Koussa mahshi) 
Stuffed Baby Zucchini and Vine Leaves with Lamb Chops 
Stuffed Baby Zucchini and Eggplant with Beef Shanks

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