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Syrian Stuffed Squash

The recipe for this gorgeous dish comes from Poopa Dweck’s Aromas of Allepo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.

The stuffed squash can be pre-made and refrigerated for a hearty Shabbat or Sukkot side dish.

Ingredients:

8 medium yellow squashes, cored (green zucchinis are a great alternative)
1 pound hashu (recipe below)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup Mediterranean apricots, dried
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (or substitute 2 additional tablespoons lemon juice,1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For Hashu Filling:

1 pound ground veal or lamb
1/3 cup white rice, raw
1 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine hashu ingredients and mix well. Stuff the cored squashes with the hashu filling.

2. Pour the oil into a large dutch oven. Arrange the stuffed squashes inside the dutch oven and layer half of the apricots on top.

3. Place the dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat until the squashes start to release their juices.

4. Add the remaining apricots and sprinkle lightly with salt. Mix lemon juice, tamarind paste and sugar. Add to the apricots by sprinkling mixture on the top. Pour 1 cup of water over the apricots and cover tightly.

5. Gently simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Then place into a pre-heated 350°F oven for 30 more minutes. Remove cover and return to the oven for 15 more minutes. Serve immediately.

* Recipe picture courtesy of Aromas of Allepo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.

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