From my Plated Heirlooms

Kusa is Arabic for zucchini,

a very famous vegetable in Arabic cuisine. We like to cook it in every form or way imaginable. Personally, kusa takes me back to childhood. It reminds me of when I would come home after school; the smell of it just filled the house. Therefore, to me, it definitely belongs to the comfort food category! Let alone that is a main ingredient in my absolute, all time favourite dish: the Palestinian main course dish of rolled vine leaves and stuffed Kusa (OMG)!

When coring Kusa for the stuffing (as you will see in the video below), you get a byproduct, which is the cored flesh. Why waste good food? A question that the Palestinian people had obviously asked and devised a solution for. The flesh is usually stir fried with olive oil, chilli (optional for spicy), salt and black pepper along with minched garlic cloves. The whole mix is seasoned with cumin to add an earthy aroma that pairs very well with the green flavour of Kusa. This is known as Allayet Kusa Spicy Zucchini stir fry. This is so good that you don’t want to make it only when you are coring Kusas, so you can also carry it out by grating the kusa instead.

This Allayet Kusa  makes a perfect snack, light dinner with toasted bread or even an excellent and very interesting dip for your crudites and bread sticks. Also this is traditionally used as another amazing base for shakshooka instead of the same old tomato shakshuka. I love using this allayeh as a base for many sandwiches and in the construction of some dishes. It just adds an interesting touch…

let’s do this.


Serves: 6
  • 10 zucchinis, peeled & grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 tsp DS Fish & Seafood Spice Mix or Cumin Powder
  • Salt & black pepper to taste


In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic & green chillies and saute until the garlic is translucent but not brown.

Add the grated kusa, salt & pepper and stir. Cover & cook until the kusa is soft & cooked through (stirring occasionally, so it does not brown).

When the kusa is soft, it is cooked through. Sprinkle the spice mix or cumin powder & mix to incorporate.


Place in a serving platter, sprinkle with a little lemon juice (optional), sprinkle a little extra cumin powder & drizzle with my beautiful olive oil and allow this oil to open up the flavours of this delicious dip.

Best served with pita bread, but can be served with bread sticks as well as any other bread type.

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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