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Algerian Style Stuffed Courgettes/Zucchini | Dolma Qarâa

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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In Algeria, there are some dishes that appear on the table year around in one shape or form. Dolma is a family of stuffed foods. They either have a meat-based filling or a vegetarian one like rice or frik (green wheat). Dolmas were brought over from Turkey during the Ottoman Empire's rule in Algeria. The name was taken by its Turkish name dolmak. This dish possibly originated from the Greek dolmades. In the Middle East, this dish is called Kousa Mahshi. In North Africa, generally, dolma is always a vegetable stuffed with meat filling. Algerian cooks favor stuffing potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines even cabbage. It is an economical dish that usually appears on everyday dinner tables. Depending on the region, a white or red sauce is used to cook the stuffed vegetables in. Today, I present a classic Algiers presentation of Dolma. Don't like courgettes? No worries. You can easily use another vegetable to stuff, for example, potatoes, summer squash, pumpkin, onions, aubergines, tomatoes, cardoons, celery bundles or even this one I shared in a previous video with fennel. Dolma Besbes (Stuffed Fennel) Recipe Video: https://goo.gl/j7qZ88 This dish would be lovely served with some freshly baked bread, such as this No-Knead Algerian Style Matlou. You can find the recipe for it here: https://goo.gl/4hKqer

Video recipe for 

Algerian Style Stuffed Courgettes/Zucchini | Dolma Qarâa, كوسا محشي, دولمة قرعة


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For this recipe, I have stuffed this bread with spinach and cheese, but you can use whatever your favorite fillingsis .


So let's get started with the recipe...

KITCHEN TIME 🕓 ACTIVE PREP TIME : 15  min |   INACTIVE PREP TIME : 0 min   |  COOK TIME : 1 1/2 hr 

main dish recipes | serves about 4-5

 Dolma Qaraa

Traditional Algerian Recipe 


  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 1kg - 2lbs courgettes
  • 500g - 1lb ground meat
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1/4 tsp oregano or herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh)
  • 150g - about 1/2 cup white rice 
  • OR 2 slices of baguette or bread, soaked in milk 
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 250g - 1 cup of precooked chickpeas or canned
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and fresh cilantro/coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric or saffron (optional, for color)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • salt / oil/water

CLEAN and clean the courgettes. Chop the stem ends off the courgettes. Cut them into 3 or 4 chunks depending on their size. Using a spoon or vegetabler corer hallow out the courgettes. Chop the 'debris' from the hallowed out courgettes. Chop it finely or as chunky as you want.

NOW start preparing the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, rice, egg, herbs, salt and spices. Fill the courgettes loosely with the mixture. Roll the remaining, if any into your desired size of meatballs. I have small children so I like to make small walnuts sized meatballs. 

HEAT the oil in the pan, sauteé the onion until golden. Add the spices and stir. Now add meatballs to brown. Remove the meatballs after browning and set aside.

PLACE the stuffed courgettes in the pot. Add enough water to cover the courgettes ¾

 of the way up. Turn up the fire to high, bringing up the temperture. Once boiling, reduce to a slow simmer and cover with lid. Once the courgettes are al-dents add back the meatballs and half the chopped fresh herbs into the pot to cook. Once tender, you'll most likely need to reduce the sauce, so remove the courgettes and meatballs. Then continue to cook the sauce until the sauce has reduced. Before serving add the freshly squeezed of the lemon and other half of the herbs into the pot. Be sure to add the lemon little bit at  a time, as it can make the dish overly sour. Each person has their own taste level. The lemon should only bring out the freshness of the dish, not make it sour.

We like to serve this as a side with soup or as a snack.

    ⇝ This bread can be stored frozen for later. It's tasty the next day as well, if wrapped properly.

    Vegan & Vegetarian
    ⇝ This dish is vegetarian.

     CATEGORIES: main dishes, QUICK & EASY,  algerian, AUTUMN, WINTER, MEDITERANEAN, NORTH AFRICAN, kabyle dishes

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     ➤ We like to serve this as a side with roasted or grilled meats, along with some freshly baked crusty bread.
    ➤ Or get inspired at the Recipe Index.

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