Kousa Mehchi (AKA Stuffed Green Squash)

Serves 4

Prep Time: 1hr

Cooking Time: 1hr

What you need:

  • 12 Large Courgettes
  • 1 Green Capsicum (Green Pepper)
  • 5 to 6 Cups of Stock
  • 1 Can of Crushed Tomatoes (400g)
  • Plain Yogurt (Optional for serving)

Stuffing:

  • 400g Mince Lamb
  • ½ Cup of rice (I used Jasmine)
  • 1 Small/Medium Onion (white or brown), finely diced
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Tsp All Spice
  • 1 Tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon

Method:

Kousa is basically Green Squash, but some also called it Courgette or Zucchini. Kousa Mehchi is a very popular dish in Lebanon. Mehchi means Stuffed. It’s a delicacy!

You may notice or if you haven’t yet, that Lebanese dishes tend to take some time in preparation, but trust me, they are so worth it! Especially if you’re not Lebanese and decide to cook this cuisine for your guests, you will forever impress them!

To start, the inside of the kousa has to be scooped out in order to be filled with the stuffing. A special tool is used for this, and it’s typically called a zucchini corer. You can find it online. Alternatively, you can use a pointy peeler, like I did, because I have misplaced my corer, so I improvised. It did the job just fine.

Wash and dry and kousa. Cut the tops off, if one is bent at the neck, cut below the bend. Remember, save everything you take out, because you make something else very delicious too! I’ll share a recipe in another post!

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The perks of being a Lebanese, we don’t waste much food!

Now don’t be put off! Scooping the kousa is easier than you may think, but you have to be careful not to break through the skin. Take your time and be gentle, leave half a centimeter rim of kousa. Core deep enough into it so you can fill it with as much as possible.

Insert the corer, twist a full turn and pull out the core. Do this a few times, scraping against the edge of the kousa with gentle pressure until you’ve scraped it all out. If you do rupture one, don’t throw it away, you can still use it, no problem! If you have guests, don’t serve it to them hahaha

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Now that all the kousa are “de-cored”, put them aside and let’s prepare the stuffing.

Mix together the meat, rice, onion, lemon, salt, all spice, white pepper and cinnamon: this is your stuffing.

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Start filling your kousa with the filling and pressing it down with whatever finger that goes in there the deepest, fill it to the top but leave a little room because the stuffing will expand during cooking and you don’t want all the stuffing coming out.

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Put them in the pot, in any way possible that fits them all, do not put them completely horizontal, because the stuffing will come out.

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Now that your kousa and your green pepper are in the pot, empty the can of tomatoes over the stock and pour it all over your kousa and bring to a boil.

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When it starts boiling, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for one hour.

Serve warm/hot, with plain yogurt if you like.

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Bon appetit!

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