Syrian stuffed zucchini in yoghurt sauce

“Sheikh” is the Islamic equivalent of the Christian “priest”

I wonder what makes this dish called that!

Serves: 7

Ingredients:

Sheikh zucchinis:

7 medium white/Lebanese zucchinis

1/3 cup pine nuts

180 g minced meat

pinch of salt, pepper, mixed spice

Sheikh yoghurt:

900 g plain Greek yoghurt (or your favourite type)

1 1/2 tbs cornflour dissolved in 2/3 cup water

1 egg

1 tbs salt

Method:

Core the zucchinis using a zucchini corer [similar to this method].

Use the cores to make my zippy zucchini dip.

Heat the deep fryer (oil ready when a piece of bread turns golden brown).

Fry the zucchinis until their skin wrinkles – but before they brown!

Don’t fry for longer than 3 minutes. When removing, tip upside down to get any excess oil out from their insides.

Leave aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a pan, add the pine nuts and a drizzle of oil.

Roast until golden. Leave aside.

In the same pan, add the minced meat, salt, pepper and mixed spice.

Cook through for some 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts to the meat.

Remove from the pan and leave aside to cool.

When ready, begin to stuff the zucchinis, making sure they don’t rip open.

Begin by filling them half way, then go back and add more until the meat is finished.

In a pot on high heat, add enough water to completely immerse the zucchinis.

When the water boils, add the zucchinis and turn down to medium heat.

In a blender, add the yoghurt, cornflour/water, egg, and salt.

Blend for 30 – 45 seconds on the 2nd setting (not the slowest, not the highest), the yoghurt should thicken a bit and become a bit bubbly.

Add into a large pot on high heat and continually stir at a fast pace.

When the yoghurt begins to boil (bubble), add the zucchinis to the yoghurt (including the water they were immersed in).

If you yoghurt hasn’t thickened, but has bubbled, then you need to add more cornflour. Just do that before you add the zucchinis in.

Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Pour into serving bowls and garnish with pine nuts (optional).

Eat with rice. Recipe card for this type of rice will be posted soon.

Devour!

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