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Syrian Stuffed Zucchini "Koosa Mahsheh"

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

You may be looking at this picture not knowing what it is, but once I tell you, you're going to want to make it for yourself! This is Syrian Stuffed Zucchini and Eggplant, also known as "Koosa Mahsheh". This is a very typical dish that Syrians enjoy for dinner. I can't emphasize enough how flavorful this dish is. It's cooked in a tomato sauce and stuffed with rice and you feel like you're eating a whole bowl of warmth. If you live in a cold area of the world like I do, this dish just makes your whole day better. I grew up on this dish and it's time that I shared this incredible, Middle Eastern recipe with you all. This recipe is going to seem like a lot but I promise I’m just ensuring you don’t miss a single step of the process. Please let me know if you end up making this, and how you liked it. Let's get to the recipe!

Yields: 4 people

Prep time: 1 hour

Total time: 2 hours

This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan.



1. 10 small zucchinis (or 5 small zucchinis and 5 small eggplants)

2. 2 cups of medium grain rice

3. Salt

4. ½ TSP of black pepper

5. ¼ TSP of dried mint

6. Extra virgin olive oil

7. Aleppo pepper

8. 5 ripe tomatoes

9. 3 TBSPs of tomato paste



1. First, make sure you either have 10 small zucchinis or 5 small zucchinis and 5 small eggplants - use the picture above for reference

2. Use a corer (a tool that hollows out veggies) and gently hollow out the stuffing of the zucchini. Keep this stuffing on the side for later (it's actually delicious to eat - I will provide you with that recipe as well)

3. Next, wash the hollowed out zucchinis/eggplants and put them in a strainer to dry.

4. Now, grab 2 cups of medium grain rice because you can’t stuff the zucchini with big rice or they will break. Put the rice in a bowl and rinse them thoroughly. Strain well.

5. Put the rice in a dish and add 1/2 TSP of black pepper, a ¼ TSP of dried mint, ½ TBSP of salt (or more to your liking), and a drizzle of olive oil. If you’d like this to be spicy I suggest adding ¼ TSP of Aleppo pepper.

6. Mix the rice with spoon to ensure seasonings are well mixed.

7. Begin to stuff the zucchinis with rice, but only stuff half of the zucchini to ensure it doesn’t break. Repeat this step for each.

8. Now, medium chop 2 tomatoes and stuff the zucchinis with one or two pieces of tomato. This step is to ensure the rice doesn't fall out when they're cooking.

9. Next, chop up 5 ripe tomatoes and put them into a blender with 2 cups of water. Add 3 TBSPs of tomato paste. Blend well.

10. Finally, put all of the zucchinis in a big pot with the sauce you blended and cook on medium heat for 1 hour with the cover on.

11. If the zucchini needs water add boiling water to the pot not cold water.

12. You will know the zucchini is done if you can stick a fork through it.

13. Serve and enjoy!


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