Recipe by Cookie Jarvis
Cousa Mashi is what you serve the guests you like the most. A bit time consuming to make, but the results are worthwhile. While it is called cousa mashi, you should include some small eggplants and a couple green peppers for variety and to make the sauce taste amazing. Cousa is a squash like zucchini but lighter in color. You could substitute zucchini for cousa. The size for the vegetables should be from 4 to 5 inches long. The recipe comes from my Jordanian mother-in-law, who is renown for her wonderful cooking. In this part of the world, a generous person is also generous with the right spices.
Top Review by amanda_walter
I LOVE this recipe. I cooked it for my Jordanian husband and his sisters and they were impressed. I have used it many times over since then and decided to come back and rate it. I follow it pretty closely. You can easily substitute canned tomato sauce instead of real tomatoes without much difference. GREAT recipe, thank you for sharing!!
- 2 cups short-grain rice
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef (or ground lamb)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 pinch saffron, if desired
- 15 zucchini
- 5 eggplants, small
- 2 green peppers, small
- 6 large tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
Directions See How It's Made
- Soak the rice in warm water for at least 1/2 an hour.
- Drain rice and mix together with ground meat, spices and olive oil.
- Cut the tops off of the cousa and eggplant. Discard.
- Core cousa and eggplant scraping out the insides so 1/4 inch is left all around. (Insides of cousa can be saved for making cousa mutabbal. See end of recipe).
- Carefully cut tops of off green peppers so they can be replaced after stuffing.
- Clean insides of green peppers.
- Stuff vegetables with rice mixture leaving some room for the rice to expand when cooked.
- Fill large pot with vegetables.
- Cut tomatoes to fill blender.
- Add 2/3 blender with water.
- Add tomato paste and salt.
- Mix in blender until smooth.
- Pour tomato sauce over vegetables.
- Add more water if necessary to cover vegatables.
- Cook, uncovered, at a simmer for one and a half hours or until vegetables are soft and rice is done. As long as the sauce is there, you can cook slowly for a longer period for a tastier dish.
- Occasionally cover with additional water to keep sauce from drying out.
- Add crushed garlic and mint to pot for a few minutes.
- Serve stuffed vegetables on a tray.
- Put sauce in a serving bowl to be added if desired.
- Note: Do not put a lid on the vegetables until they are completely cool or they may burst open.
- Cousa Mutabbal, a salad served like hummus, can be made by simmering the contents of the cousa in a small saucepan until cooked. Add a little tahini, yogurt, salt and pepper. Serve with olive oil and crushed dried mint on top. Eat with pita bread.
- Fettat Cousa, a dish served in a 9x13 pan, can be served alongside as well, by tearing up small pieces of bread, generally pita, covered by the tomato sauce from the cousa mashi. Then cover with a sauce of yogurt, garlic, and salt. Top with pinenuts fried in olive oil (along with the oil).