Koosa Mashe

These koosa mashe (stuffed baby zucchini) are cooked in a tomato/yogurt sauce. Jameed is a defatted and dehydrated yogurt most commonly used in a popular dish called “mansaf”. Ziyad products makes a soup starter with jameed is in a shelf stable liquid form which is what I used in the sauce recipe. Jameed is definitely an acquired taste, and I didn’t like it the first time I tried it! But when it’s mixed with the tomato sauce, the flavor is less intense. Some people cook the zucchini strictly in a yogurt sauce, others only in a tomato sauce, but my family-in-law cooks it in the tomato/yogurt combination sauce. A special tool is used for coring the zucchini. These long metal corers can be found in Middle Eastern markets very cheaply, or you can order one online.



  • 8 small zucchini (also called “Mexican zucchini”
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice
  • 1/4-1/2lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 box Ziyad brand Soup Starter
  • 5-6 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon samne (ghee, or clarified butter)


  • Carefully cut tops of zucchini and core them, scraping out the insides until about 1/4 inch is left all around.
  • Rinse rice well and soak in hot water for 20-3o minutes.
  • Drain rice and mix in ground beef, parsley and spices.
  • Stuff the zucchini with the rice mixture about 3/4 full. One common measure in Palestine is to stick you pinky finger in the zucchinMixi and if the stuffing reaches about half-way up your finger it is the right amount.
  • Place zucchini on their sides in a large stock pot.
  • Mix together the sauce ingredients, it should be a light orange color, and pour over the zucchini.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours.

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