Stuffed grape leaves, known by various names such as Dolma, Dolmathakia, Warak Enab, or sarma, are a cherished culinary tradition found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. This dish holds a special place in the hearts of many communities, often gracing the tables during holidays and weekend gatherings.
The combination of ground meat, aromatic herbs, rice, and a touch of zesty lemon creates a mouthwatering filling that's lovingly encased in grape leaves. The result is a rich and succulent dish that promises to delight your friends and family.
- 1.5 pounds (700g) ground beef or lamb
- 1 jar grape leaves – about 60-70 leaves
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 bunch freshly chopped parsley
- 1/4 bunch freshly chopped mint
- 1/4 bunch freshly chopped dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup water
- Place the grape leaves in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Finely chop parsley, mint, dill, and onion.
- Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or lamb, chopped herbs, onion, rice, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Lay each grape leaf flat on a work surface (shiny side down). Place about 1-2 tablespoons of stuffing in the middle of each leaf. Fold both sides of the leaf towards the center and roll up from the broad bottom to the top.
- Arrange the rolled grape leaves in a pot, laying them close to each other. Place 4-5 lemon slices on top. Cover with a heavy plate. Pour enough water to fully cover the grape leaves.
- Over high heat, bring the water to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 1.5 hours, or until the grape leaves are tender. Check occasionally and add more water if needed.
- You can serve them hot, warm, or cold. Enjoy!