Cousa Mashi - Arabic Stuffed Zucchini

Recipe by Cookie Jarvis
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins




  • 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).