Stuffed vegetables make for a popular dish in Arab and Turkish cuisines.No specific country can call a specific dish theirs, as many other countries will have variants of the same dish.
Today, stuffed courgettes (كوسة أو شجر محشي) are mostly considered Lebanese, although predictably, Iraqis have been making it for much longer. The stuffed courgettes come mostly in two forms: in a tomato-based sauce, or in a yogurt-base sauce. Today’s recipe obviously features the tomato-based sauce.
Keep in mind that recipes like this use Arab courgettes, which are smaller and lighter than Western courgettes. If you cannot find these delicate courgettes, you can cut a regular long courgette in half and treat it as two. Do not discard the core, you can be economical and make courgette fritters from them.
10 Arabic courgettes
3/4 cup Egyptian shortgrain rice
250g minced lamb
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp 7-spice mix
For the tomato sauce:
1 lemon, juice
2 bouillon cubes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups hot water
Wash the courgettes very well from any grit.
Slice off the tops and core the courgettes. Let soak in a bowl of cold water.
For the filling, mix the rice, minced meat, dill, parsley, onion, salt, and spice mix.
Stuff the cored courgettes.
In a couple tablespoons of oil, sear the courgettes on the outside until golden and blistered.
Meanwhile in a pot, bring to a boil the lemon juice, bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and hot water. Set aside.
When the courgettes have finished searing on all sides, carefully place them in an oven proof dish, and pour over them the tomato broth.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated 400F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until rice gets cooked through and sauce has thickened.