Kousa mihshi bi laban

Kousa mihshi bi laban

Stuffed zucchini with yoghurt

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
1kg zucchini, evenly sized, small or medium in size
1 quantity Laban mutboukh
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried mint


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon Samneh
or 1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts, (optional)
250g minced lamb or beef
55g short-grain white rice
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to season


  1. Wash the zucchini well and cut off the stem end. Using a vegetable or apple corer, hollow out each zucchini, leaving the rounded end intact. Try not to puncture the skin. Soak in salted water for 10 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat the samneh or oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion until translucent. If using pine nuts, add them to the pan after 10 minutes, and cook with the onions for at least another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients and 60 ml water. Season with pepper and thoroughly combine.
  4. Fill the zucchini with the stuffing. Although the rice expands during cooking, the meat shrinks, so there is no need to allow room for expansion.
  5. Arrange the zucchini in layers in a heavy-based saucepan, sprinkling the layers lightly with salt. Pour in 300 ml cold water. Invert a heavy plate on top of the zucchini and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the laban mutboukh as directed in the recipe. When it begins to boil, stir in the crushed garlic and boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  7. When the zucchini are cooked, remove the plate and pour the laban mutboukh over them. Boil gently, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
  8. Crush the dried mint to a coarse powder and sprinkle it over the zucchini. Remove from the heat, cover and stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. For a main course, serve the zucchini and sauce with mashed potatoes or steamed rice.


  • Middle Eastern food suppliers usually stock a special corer for preparing vegetables for stuffing. It is not as wide as an apple corer, and much longer.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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