Mahshi kousa (which is Arabic for stuffed zucchini) is a delicious summer dish! Zucchini is hollowed out and stuffed with a rice and meat mixture and then added to a crushed tomato broth. In Lebanon, it's a popular dish in the summer (even though it's eaten hot) mostly because it's the time when people can pick their grown zucchini to make this dish.
It's not challenging to cook and the only tedious part is hollowing out the zucchini. You always have the option of hollowing them out the night before you plan on cooking mahshi kousa to save time. Here's a helpful tip for when you hollow out your zucchini: make sure they are room-temperature (zucchini will break easier if it is cold).
Remember, when it comes to Lebanese food, all the time and effort put into cooking a dish is always so worth it!
1. Hollow out the zucchini (save two cups of the insides for this yummy recipe here)
-Cut both tips of the zucchini (as shown in the pictures below). To hollow out, Eva uses a tool she has from Lebanon which is found in most Middle Eastern stores or a small scooper will do. Insert your tool into the zucchini and gently hollow it bit by bit. This will keep you from breaking the zucchini. If you do break one - no worries - save it and we will tell you how to fix it towards the end of the recipe!
2. Add all ingredients (except for zucchini and crushed tomato) to a bowl and mix together to make your hashweh (filling)
3. Stuff the zucchinis halfway with the hashweh (give room for meat and rice to cook) and place in a deep pot
4. Add 6 cups of water over zucchini and bring to boil on medium heat
5. Once boiling, set timer for 10 minutes
7. After 10 minutes, add crushed tomatoes to pot and gently stir to not break the zucchini, add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring back to boil
8. Once sauce starts to boil set timer for another 10 minutes (good time to taste to see if extra salt is needed) after 5 minutes, simmer on low heat
*If you have a zucchini that breaks in the process of hollowing it, you can use a toothpick to keep it together like in these photos: (stuff it before you place your toothpick)
Here's a recipe for a yummy Lebanese omelet! It's made with eggs, parsley, and grated zucchini. This meatless dish can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! It's also delicious with pita bread and radishes.
Here’s a simple yet tasty Lebanese dish (with no official name) that is traditionally eaten as a side dish during lent. It’s meatless and perfect to cook if you ever have leftover baked potato! If you're not using leftover baked potatoes, it's still super easy to prepare! This can be eaten with pita, radishes, scallions, or even peppers!
Yum! Enjoy :)
Kibbet Raaheb translates to "the kibbeh of the monk". It's a great meatless soup that is traditionally cooked during lent. What makes this soup so delicious is the flavorful dough balls and of course the garlic and lemony broth. Plus, this is a great soup to have when you're feeling under the weather!
1. Add all dough ball ingredients into a small bowl (salt and pepper to taste) and 7 teaspoons of cold water to kneed into one dough ball (don’t be afraid to add another teaspoon or so of water if needed OR if dough ball gets too wet to work with, sprinkle more flour to make it easier)
2. Sprinkle counter, or cooking board, with flour. Making sure your hands are floured, pull small pieces from the ball and form into tinier balls (slightly bigger than a bean or it can be smaller or bigger, up to you!)
3. Once you’ve formed all the balls, fill a fairly large pot with 12 cups of water, rinsed lentil and bring to boil
4. Place garlic in mortar with a couple of dashes of salt and mince (can also be done in mini food processor or on cutting board, finely chop garlic and mince with knife) and add juice from 2 lemons,
5. When lentil begins to boil, lower stove to medium low and cook until tender
6. Once lentil become tender and cooked, add dough balls (add one or two at a time, if added all together they will clump) and a teaspoon of salt (or to taste), Cook for 10 minutes
7. After 10 minutes, add garlic and lemon juice mixture to pot, drizzle olive oil (about a tablespoon or so), stir and turn stove off. Let rest for few minutes before serving
Kefta is a delicious combination of grilled meat, parsley and onions. It tastes amazing wrapped in pita and dipped into homemade hummus. It also tastes great with a side of tabouli! (Recipe for hummus here and recipe for tabouli here). Preparing kefta is quick and easy and you won't need too many ingredients!
Also check out our recipe for Grilled Kefta in Pita here! Sahtein!