Mahshi (which translates literally to “stuffed”) is one of my all time favourite Egyptian dishes. Vegetables stuffed with a delicious rice and herb mix then cooked to perfection. Simple – but succulently rich in flavours and textures.
When I tried to think of a healthy spin on my beloved Mahshi – it seemed painstakingly obvious, just sub brown rice for white. But at the time I was stuffing my face with a giant quinoa-chickpea salad when I had a brainwave – quinoa! I was apprehensive at first because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised
We make mahshi at home using a variety of veggies, but for this recipe I decided to stick with an Egyptian classic: Kousa otherwise known as baby marrow or squash.
Quinoa Stuffed Mahshi Kousa
- 4-5 baby marrows (known as Kousa in the Arab world)
- 1 large bell pepper (optional)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 medium red onion, chopped finely
- 1 large tomato, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp coconut or sunflower oil
- 1 organic vegetable stock cube
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Prep the marrows by washing, then hollowing out the insides (make sure to save these as you will need them later). At home we have a cylindrical type peeler tool specifically for this purpose, I always thought it was silly – until I tried doing it without it.
Difficult, but doable using the rounded edge of a spoon.
Next comes the “khalta” (the stuffing). Add the quinoa, fresh herbs, onion, tomatoes, oil and salt and tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
As a general rule everything should be equally proportioned, so if you’re noticing more herbs or onions add in some quinoa to balance it out.
Next, we stuff!
Fill the marrows and the bell pepper with the stuffing but be sure not to pack too tightly and leave some room at the top as the quinoa will expand when cooking.
Then cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy and the veg is tender.
Don’t worry about not adding enough water/stock as the vegetables and the stuffing will release a lot of their own moisture. Serve.
I had mine as a main alongside a peppery rocket raisin and walnut salad in a cumin vinaigrette.
Wholesome, fragrant and finger-licking good.
Leftovers? I had them cold and chopped up in a salad topped with some hummus.
Yes, that is a saucepan. Don’t judge me, I’m a student.