Kusa is the Arabic word for zucchini, which are called courgettes in some countries. This vegetable is widely used in Arab cuisine and the name “kusa” appears in a variety of recipes. Another name for kusa is Lebanese squash.
Kusa Mahsi is stuffed zucchini. Stuffed vegetables are popular in Arab cuisine. The technique originated in Baghdad and was perfected by the chefs of the early Ottoman empire. The stuffing usually combines minced lamb with rice, parsley, mint and spices. Some cooks omit the lamb to make a vegetarian version.
This Syrian dip mashes cooked zucchini with lemon, garlic and onion. Fresh or dried mint gives it the distinctive taste of Arab cuisine. It is usually served warm with with flat bread.
Another dip, frequently found on Lebanese menus, this only uses zucchini seeds from the core of the vegetable. Olive oil, lemon, garlic, white pepper, cinnamon and mint are blended with the cooked zucchini seeds. Adding natural yogurt is optional, but some chefs feel yogurt enhances the flavor.