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Persian Stuffed Courgettes

ingredients

serves 6.
6 large courgettes
1 cup dried split green peas
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb (450 g) minced lean lamb or beef
generous pinch ground cinnamon
2 oz (50 g) butter
salt and pepper

serve with:

natural yoghurt, lightly salted to taste

method

1. Rinse the courgettes and cut off about 3/4 in (2 cm) from each end. Use a potato peeler to remove a very thin layer of skin from them; if they are very long cut them in half. Hollow out the centre of each courgette with an apple corer. Blanch in the boiled acidulated water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

2. Rinse the dried peas well in a sieve under running cold water; boil in salted water for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and reserve.

3. Sweat the onion in the butter for 10 minutes over a very low heat, stirring frequently; turn up the heat and add the meat, sprinkle with a generous pinch of cinnamon and cook for 2 minutes while stirring continuously over a moderately high heat. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Mix with the peas, adding a little more salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste.

4. Stuff the hollowed courgettes with this mixture, arrange in a single layer in a wide, shallow flameproof dish, add 18 fl oz (500 ml) water, cover with a lid or with foil and simmer very gently for 25 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

5. Transfer to heated individual plates, handing round a bowl of natural yoghurt mixed with a pinch of salt.

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