One of the traditional vegetarian plates that my mother-in-law used to cook during Lent is "Koussa bi riz", zucchini with rice in tomato sauce. It's a delicious plate made with very basic ingredients. It is light and refreshing. You can eat it cold with some fresh mint and radish. I like to share this recipe with you and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.


Yields: Four portions

- 1/2 kg zucchini (5-6 zucchinis) cut into cubes
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use canola)
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup of chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup short-grain rice
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 can (400 grams) diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp tomato paste


  1. Put the oil olive and the vegetable oil in a pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion with 1/2 tsp of salt and cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the chopped zucchinis and stir for few minutes.
  4. Add the rice, the mint, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining salt, black pepper and the water.
  5. Stir all ingredients together.
  6. When it starts boiling, lower the heat and cover.
  7. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is well cooked.
  8. Serve it warm or cold.