From my Plated Heirlooms

As per your requests, comes this super delicious recipe from the traditional Palestinian cuisine. Stuffed vegetables are a Middle Eastern, Levantine and a Palestinian cuisine specialty. Similar recipes will be found in Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi cuisines. But then again all the countries in the levant share a very similar cuisine. From techniques to applications, they are almost the same. A little bit of difference can be found in the spices and aromatics, sauces…and so on.

This particular dish was one of the very few foods I did not like as a child! I don’t know what about the combination did not appeal to my very inexperienced and young palate. But as I grew older, I grew fonder of this amazing ballad of flavours. The meat stuffing, the zucchini case and the yoghurt sauce… creamy, savoury, with slight crunch from the nuts and smoothness from the soft zucchini skin that just keeps your palate begging for more.

This stuffed zucchini dish is best served with a side of Vermicelli Rice (rice cooked with browned Vermicelli pasta). It is a delicious Iftar option that your family will enjoy. Give it a try, I know you will love it.


Serves: 4 Cook Time: 20 mins
  • 2 Kg (or 16 pices) small organic Kusa (zucchini)
  • 1  1/2  Kg yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried mint leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 ltr chicken broth (recipe on this link)
  • 3 heaped tbsp cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying the stuffed zucchinis
  • A side of Vermicelli Rice
  • 1 recipe Classic Meat Stuffing (recipe on this link)

Start by coring the Kusa.

Core each kusa using a corer (similar to the pumpkin corer but much narrower) to create a wide enough cavity for inserting the filling. To core, you just need to place the corer in the middle of the top part (where the cap used to be) and gently rotate the kusa around the corer pulling out the flesh regularly. Repeat until the cavity is wide enough to encase the filling.

Fill the cored zucchinis with the prepared meat stuffing.

Heat the vegetable oil and fry the stuffed zucchinis until slightly golden and the skin appears wrinkled. Remove from the frying oil and drain on kitchen paper towels. Set aside.

In the meantime, place the broth in your cooking pot over the heat to warm. While the broth is warming up, make the yogurt sauce.

Place the yoghurt, dried mint, corn starch, salt and black pepper as well as garlic cloves in the blender and blend until all is well incorporated.

Pour the yogurt mixture onto the warmed broth and stir to combine. Continue stirring on medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Add the fried Kusa and cook all on low heat for 10 minutes, until the flavours infuse.

In the Meantime make the Vermicelli Rice.

Serve hot with a side of DS Organic Olives in Brine and/or DS Organic Pickled Cucumbers as these flavours go very well with the stuffed Kusa stew.

“Never be afraid to try, remember, Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic!”    – Unknown Author 

How cool is that quote? I love it! I thought this quote is especially good for posting on this blog, because it really ever is our fear that “we don’t know enough” or “we can never achieve this”  which stops us from doing anything. If only we realise that we are all beginners at some point and only through practice and perseverance that we become experienced. If we don’t start simply because we don’t know enough, then no one would ever get anywhere. The same applies to cooking. We all have to start somewhere, then it is up to us how far we want to go. If you like good food, you are bound to start cooking good food. If food is a chore or a part of life you dislike (don’t gasp, some people look at food and cooking that way!) then you are never gonna go anywhere in the kitchen except grab that paper bag and anxiously breath every time you step into one! Really everything is, in the end, a choice…


This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.

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