Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Iraqi-style Stuffed Zucchini

The Iraqi people love stuffed foods. My Iraqi friend served these to us but in a little different shape. She took the small zucchinis and cut them in half in the middle- keeping a cylinder- and scooped out the center- making each like a little vessel. I thought that was a little too labor-intensive and decided to just cut them lengthwise.

After the meat was browned, the center pulp was then chopped up and sprinkled on top of the meat mixture.
Serves approximately 6.

6-8 small-medium zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise and hollowed out
1/2 pound ground beef or lamb
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 - 3/4 tsp seasoned salt (I used Adobo with Cumin by Goya)
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
1/2  tsp cumin *
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water (more or less)
paprika for garnish
olive oil


  • Prepare the zucchini; reserve the inside that has been removed. Lay down the zucchini in a baking dish face-up like a boat. Salt and lightly pepper the inside of the zucchini. 
  • Sauté the meat, onion and garlic. Drain off the fat and then add the seasonings, paste and water. Put the meat mixture in the hollowed out parts of the zucchini. 
  • Cut the reserved zucchini into chunks and toss with about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Spoon the zucchini chunks over top of the meat. 
  • Sprinkle zucchini again with seasoned salt lightly, followed by paprika over top of everything. (May also use a Arabic Seven Spice mix in the meat as well as sprinkling on top of the zucchini for a more authentic flavor.)
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour at 400 degrees covered or until the fork pierces the zucchini easily. Remove cover/foil and bake for about 10-15 more minutes to dry up any excess juice. 
  • Serve over rice or with flat bread.

*Note- I also used about 2 Tbsp of sofrito mixture (a Hispanic blend of onion, green pepper, garlic, and various herbs like cilantro, culantro, parsley, oregano, cumin- all ground up together) in with the meat and seasonings as it was prepared.  See my blog soon for a posting on how to make your own sofrito- great for flavoring/seasoning all types of dishes.

1 comment:

  1. maybe this will go through...not sure!
    We have a similar dish here in Kuwait called stuffed Kusa (spelling?). It's actually made with a smaller Arabic squash. They core it, not split it, and stuff it with a rice mixture then cook it in a tomato sauce. Will find recipe for you!


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