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8 April, 2013

Koossa Mehshe Atii

Posted in : Recipes, Vegan only, Vegetarian & Vegan main Dishes on by : el Meza

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kousa-ati3Koossa Mehshe Atii – Vegetarian Stuffed Marrows (zucchini)

Time- 45 minutes prep time + 45 minutes cooking time
Serves 4


  • 2kg of medium sized marrows or zucchinis
  •  200g or 1 cup of short grain rice (also known as Egyptian rice), rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped or about 1 cup
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
  • 80g of toasted pine nuts
  • 60 ml of olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the Pot

  • 1kg of tomatoes or about 5
  • 1 onion cut into medium thick rings
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste diluted in 1 cup of water
  • water to cover
  • 60 ml or 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Pot- about 15 cm deep. Enough to hold the koussa and the water to cover them

In the End

  • 10 mint leaves
  • 5-8 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon

kousaThe Nitty-Gritty

1) Trim off stem ends and using a vegetable corer carve out the pulp. Try to remove as much of the pulp as you can without breaking the marrow. Sometimes you may accidentally carve too hard and get “cracks” that’s ok, you can still stuff it but just be gentle with it. DO NOT THROW AWAY the pulp. It is excellent in an omelet. You can also freeze it for later use.

2) Mix rice, tomatoes, onions, herbs, pine nuts, olive oil and seasonings and use this mixture to stuff squash three-quarters full.

3) Drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil and then layer with the tomato and onion rings and then arrange the stuffed marrows in layers over tomatoes & onions. Add tomato paste mixture, salt to taste and place a plate that fits into the pot so that it keeps the marrows compressed and limits them from wiggling around. Now cover with water. Bring it to a boil on the stove on medium-high heat and then reduce to medium-low  (it needs to be simmering so adjust accordingly) and cook for about 45mn to 1 hr.

4) While the koossa is cooking, crush the garlic with a mortar and then add the mint and pound further till a thick paste is achieved before mixing in the lemon juice. Add this to the pot at about 45 minutes. Essentially you want it to all simmer together for at least 10 minutes and the flavors to seep in.

5) Once cooked (you can check by piercing the koussa with a fork it should be tender and the rice cooked) let it cool and serve. Atop Greek-style plain yogurt.

It tastes wonderful, cold from the fridge, the next day!


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