Part of Ep. 1201 Ep. 1201 - Melting Pot

Yield: (Serves 6)

Credit: Recipe from Chef Sabi Atteyih of The Casbah Restaurant in Madison


1 lb. ground beef or lamb
1/2 cup short-grain rice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. turmeric
10 strands of saffron
1 Tbsp. olive oil
A selection of whole eggplant, zucchini and/or jar of grape leaves

Lamb chops or lamb rack

3 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
3 garlic cloves


Make stuffing. Combine ground meat, rice, salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric and saffron in large bowl. Remove stems, and cap off one end of zucchini and eggplant. Using an apple or grapefruit corer, or paring knife gently remove the core and seeds of the vegetables. Loosely place stuffing in the hollowed zucchini and eggplants. Using the removed stem cap, gently plug the end of the vegetable.  If using grape leaves, place a full teaspoon of stuffing on grape leaf and roll up. Place lamb on the bottom of a large cooking pot. Then place the grape leaves in a single layer on top of the meat fitting them snugly side by side making sure they are not touching the bottom of the pan. Place the zucchini and eggplant on top of the stuffed grape leaves. Tuck garlic cloves between the layered vegetables. Pour crushed tomatoes and water over everything. Add salt and pepper. Put a plate on top of the vegetables and weight it down with another plate or bowl. Cover pot and cook over medium heat for about 2 hours. Traditionally this is served by inverting the pot over a large serving platter. Serve each person some of the vegetables, sauce and lamb.


Funding for The Wisconsin Gardener is provided, in part, by The Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.


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