In the Middle East zucchini is cooked in so many different ways. In most recipes, it's cored and stuffed with rice, meat, or meat and rice, then cooked in tomato or yogurt sauce.
Makhshi, or Shaikh El Mahshi, is zucchini stuffed with a mixture of sauteed ground beef and onions, then sauteed, then boiled, then finally cooked in a yogurt sauce and served with a side of rice.
It's a hearty and delicious meal, but it definitely doesn't qualify as a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Makhshi is usually served with white rice with vermicelli.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
10 ounces ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
24 ounces plain, whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1) In a pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the ground beef. Cook halfway. Next, add the onion, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and cook until the onion is translucent. Set aside and let your meat mixture cool.
2) Meanwhile, wash your zucchini really well. Then, cut off the top of the zucchini and the bottom tip. Core the zucchini. Wash again, making sure to clean out any excess of the insides that was left inside of the zucchini.
3) Begin stuffing the zucchini with the meat, filling it to the top, leaving 1/4 of an inch.
4) Place a strainer in a 6-quart pot. Strain the yogurt and sour cream through the strainer into the pot. Remove the strainer and add the cornstarch and water to the yogurt. Whisk until combined.
5) Begin cooking your yogurt over medium heat, continuously stirring with a spatula. Cook until the yogurt begins to bubble. Turn heat off and set aside.
6) In a frying pan, add about 1/2 inch vegetable oil. Heat oil on medium heat. Begin to saute the stuffed zucchini until lightly browned on all sides.
7) While the zucchini is frying, fill a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil.
8) Once the zucchini has browned on all sides, remove from frying pan and drop into the boiling water. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the zucchini has gone from a bright green to a light green color.
9) Remove zucchinis from water and place in yogurt sauce.
10) When ready to serve, cook the zucchini in the yogurt sauce for 15 minutes on medium low heat.
11) Serve with rice. Sahtain!
- Coring zucchini can be a bit challenging. Make sure your zucchini is at room temperature before coring. It prevents the zucchini from easily breaking/cracking.
- You can prepare the zucchini a day in advance (core, stuff, fry, and boil) and make the yogurt on the day of.
- When stirring the yogurt, only stir in one direction.