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Stuffed white zucchini in yoghurt sauce

>> Friday, May 28, 2010

It has been ages since I last participated in Weekend Herb Blogging. This week, I've joined the fun again with those small white zucchini. The current host is Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at least once

Stuffed zucchini with yoghurt sauce

“Buy locally” is what people say these days. Sometimes I wonder what it really means. In the suburb where I live, all we have is small supermarkets with inflated prices on sad-looking vegetables. So, we do take the effort to drive at least 30 mins to get to Preston market to get our dosage of seasonal vegs and fruits at least once per fortnight. It’s just better.

But it pays to look around, locally. Recently, I’ve been able to locate a really nice butcher, a large deli and a small decent vegetable shop which cater for the dominant Middle Eastern presence in the area. I have access to cheese sold in 1kg block, yoghurt sold in 2kg tube (smallest!), different kinds of flours in at least 5kg bag, spices in large containers, pre-made pastries of various forms. It’s like going through a new food maze! If only I could get my tofu fix a bit easier.

And of course, vegetables, like those little white zucchini. I’ve seen them in the past at farmers market, but this is the first time I try to do something with them. And to add a bit of “local” flair, I’ve decided to stuff them with meat and rice before cooking them slowly in a large amount of yoghurt sauce. (Well, I do need to find a way to use up that 2kg tube of yoghurt. What was I thinking?)

To do stuff these zucchini properly, I have bought a handy tool. Ping @herbalGill, this is it! The secret to get that nice “hole” instead of the “boat style”. If you are in Melbourne and get a chance to hang around Sydney Rd, Brunswick, drop by a $2 shop there. You’ll find it.

Stuffed zucchini with yoghurt sauce- the tool

The recipe is adapted from the excellent Arabesque by Claudia Roden. Serve the stuffed zucchini with rich rice pilaf (not photograph). It’s nice, warming and refreshing at the same time.

Of course, this recipe is for the smaller zucchini kind. With the bigger ones, you can use Faith’s @ An edible Mosaic tip – cut them into smaller chunks.

Stuffed zucchini with yoghurt sauce


I've been thinking of a vegetarian version of this dish. Couscous or lentil will be nice here. Right?

1kg small zucchini (10-12 cm long)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tsp dried mint
Salt + pepper + sugar to taste

1kg full-fat yoghurt
1 tbp corn flour
Some butter to fry


150g minced beef
50g aborio rice
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice


Wash the zucchini, slice off the stem end and shave off the brown skin on the other end. With a corer (photo above - an apple corer will also work?), make a hole at the stem end of each veg and scoop out the flesh. Be careful - don't break the skin or the other end.

Prepare the filling by putting all the ingredients together in a bowl. Knead well by hand unil thoroughly blended. Fill each zucchini, packing in the filling into 1cm of the end (to allow for expansion of the rice)

Arrange the stuffed veg in a large saucepan, cover with enough chicken stock and simmer gently, covered, for 25 mins or so (until the water is absorbed and the zucchini is nearly done)

In another saucepan, beat yoghurt with little salt until it's liquid. Mix 1 tablespoon cornflour and 2-3 tbp water, add to the yogurt and beat well. Bring the mixture to the boil slowly, stir constantly in one direction. Once boiled, reduce the heat to as low as possible. Let the mixture barely simmer, uncovered for 10 mins or until thickened.

Pour the yoghurt over the zucchini. Simmer for about 20 mins.

Just before serving, quickly fry the garlic with butter and little salt. Add the dried mint and mix well. Pour into the yoghurt mixture, stir.

Serve the zucchini with plenty of source with some rich pilaf.


{I didn’t plan to photograph them but decided to feature this dish after my tweets with @herbalgill. It was done at night with minimum styling after dinner. I was too hungry, tired and sleepy to set up proper lighting. Also, can I say that this dish is not the easiest to style and photograph?}


Rosa's Yummy Yums 1:08 AM  

A lovely dish and idea!



cookingpractice 3:07 AM  

i think you can have some Veal curry with the rest of yogurt ;D I love it so much with Basmati rice :)

Erica 5:24 AM  

This is a delicious dish...Love the yogurt sauce! Beautiful presentation and pictures.

Johanna GGG 11:48 AM  

wow your minimalist styling is still impressive - and I love the sound of this dish - will look out for this implement in Sydney Road - actually I saw some of these zucchinis this week but didn't have the brain space to think about using them but I love this idea

Ran 1:22 PM  

We make a veg version of rice, parsley, tomatoes, garlic, onion, pinenut, mixed spice and currants. i prefer it to the meat to be honest.

3 hungry tummies 2:00 PM  

That is such a pretty dish...I need 2 for eating and one to look at then I'll have the 3rd as well!

Mark @ Cafe Campana 3:19 PM  

That tool looks like something one would use in a wood working workshop. I like the stuffed zucchini, it looks so fresh and flavoursome.

OohLookBel 3:34 PM  

Lovely dish (and the plate and napkin are so colourful!). It reminds me of that Chinese stuffed winter melon that has mince in it, too.

muffinsareuglycupcakes 6:29 PM  

thats something different.
not something id see around here anyway.
but it looks great!
love how you took the photo with it being so colour coordinated - nice and green!

thepassionatecook 7:56 PM  

that sounds wonderful! great and refreshing... i know what you mean about local shops, we used to have a greengrocer's round the corner and their vegetables were not only overpriced, they were also not very fresh... i love to support small shops etc but only if they're good!

Faith 9:26 PM  

Thank you so much for the shout-out Anh! This is a really gorgeous version of stuffed zucchini - it sounds absolutely delicious with the yogurt sauce!

Anita 10:25 PM  

Love the photos. It sounds very tasty too.

Ingrid 12:23 AM  

Unlike myself my kiddos are fond of their veggies and would enjoy this variation on zucchini.

Btw, Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Happy Friday!

Clare @ Mrs Multitasker 2:39 AM  

It looks great and sounds very gourmet! So creative!

Little Corner of Mine 5:56 AM  

This is very interesting to me, beautifully presented!

Joanne 6:37 AM  

I try to eat locally as much as possible as well! I love the looks of this zucchini dish. between the cinnamon and nutmeg and yogurt sauce...i'm quite in heaven.

penny aka jeroxie 9:58 AM  

Eating locally is something I am trying very hard to go. I try to go to as many farmers markets as possible.

mr_john 11:22 AM  

They've always got piles of these zucchinis at the Coburg market on Sydney rd just near Bell st.

gail 2:02 PM  

Holy gorgeous AND unique!

Gloria 9:42 AM  

This look fantastic and yummy! gloria

veron 2:00 PM  

This looks gorgeous and sounds delicious!

Trissa 8:58 PM  

What a great way to use zucchini! And that ping tool - is it really called ping? I need that in my kitchen! I'd use it for potatoes as well!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) 8:59 AM  

Great vege dish! Love the heart bowl :)

noobcook 2:07 PM  

I have never tried this variety of zucchini before and it looks delicious. Love your presentation :)

Arwen from Hoglet K 12:24 AM  

I love the sound of that yoghurt sauce! A clever way to use up your yoghurt. Cool zucchini-hollowing tool too.

WizzyTheStick 3:25 AM  

Great idea looks like a restaurant quality dish.

Julia @Mélanger 6:38 PM  

What an unusual recipe. Looks delicious. I've never stuffed a zucchini before!

Ms Baklover 9:11 PM  

I have had this in many Lebanese home kitchens and it is one of my favourite dishes of all time. Well done! BTW, if you want to use up the yoghurt quicker, trying draining it by dumping into a colander lined with muslin or an old teatowel. Place that over a bowl and the bowl will then catch all the whey. You will be left with really thick, creamy yoghurt. x

Soma 4:49 AM  

This is a beautiful dish, very unique.. esp the sauce and the stuffed zuke combo. I love the mint in it and the spices. The pictures are breathtaking!

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