Deconstructed Cousa Mahshi

A beloved recipe first introduced to me by one of my friends. Traditionally this is served as a stuffed squash however, that took a little too long for me so  decided to get creative and pull it apart, so to speak. It’s a wonderful middle eastern dish with traditional flavors such as allspice or cardamom.

I absolutely love this dish and just had to recreate it. I am much too impatient to wait the two hours for boiling plus another hour of stuffing, coring, and so forth. I’ll just leave that part to whenever my friend makes it. But this dish is amazing.

You could always add rice if you so wished as this is typically a rice and beef sort of dish. It’s also important to use Mexican squash, which is similar to an Italian squash or zucchini, but is a much light green color and tends to hold up much better during the cooking.

If you don’t have chicken broth, you could always use water, however, the chicken broth adds a lot of flavor to the dish.

TIP: Obviously we will not be using the entire (mini) can of tomato paste. I always find that it molds very quickly as well. Instead, freeze it into tablespoon size pieces.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


cousa mahshi


  • 3-4 mexican squash diced
  • 1 lb. beef, cut into small cubes about 1/2″
  • 2-3 tbsp. allspice
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 can tomato paste (the small cans not the big ones)


  1. in a pan, heat some oil and cook the beef all the way through.
  2. add in the tomato paste, allspice (two tablespoons first!) and the black pepper and stir for about a minute, then add in the zucchini.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and let cook covered until the zucchini is soft and and tender. Add salt to taste and if it needs more allspice then feel free to add in the other tablespoon.
  4. If it’s too soupy for you, add in about 1/2 a tablespoon of starch and mix thoroughly, cooking uncovered until desired consistency is reached.

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