Stuffed melon (missov sekhi dolma)

Yield: 2 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 large Cantaloupe
2 tablespoons Butter
½ pounds Ground lean lamb or
½ pounds Ground lean beef
1 medium Onion; finely chopped
½ cup Long-grain white rice uncooked
¼ cup Pine nuts
¼ cup Dried currants
1½ tablespoon Sugar; or to taste (opt'l.)
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
\N \N Salt; to taste
1 cup ;Water

Cut about one inch off the top of the melon; reserve. This will later serve as a lid. Clean out the inside of the melon and discard seeds.

With a long handled spoon, scoop out 1 cup of the center pulp and chop.

In a heavy skillet, heat butter over moderate heat. Add the meat and onion; saute until browned, stirring frequently. Add the rice, pine nuts, currants, 1 tb. sugar, cinnamon, salt, chopped melon pulp and water; mix well. Cook until liquid in the pan is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the inside of the melon with the remaining ½ tb. of sugar and spoon the meat stuffing into it. Cover with the reserved top; secure with wooden picks. Place in an oiled baking pan just large enough to hold the melon comfortably. Bake at 350 F. for one hour, or until tender.

Uvezian writes: "The exquisitely delicate flavor and aroma of this unique dish will linger in your memory." From _The Cuisine of Armenia_ by Sonia Uvezian. New York: Harper & Row, 1985. ISBN 0-06-091229-4. Pg. 207. Electronic format by Cathy Harned.

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