Dolma, or stuffed grape leaves, is a savory dish of grape leaves rolled around a filling of rice, nuts, and spices. A traditional dish found in the Middle East, our version comes from our SOS Mothers in Syria. Often, dolmades is also made with minced meat, but our version is vegetarian (which is both healthier and easier to make!). We hope you enjoy this traditional Syrian dish!
Traditional stuffed grape leaves.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white or brown rice
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dried currants/raisins
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 (8 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
Heat your olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions until tender. Stir in rice and hot water, covering and allowing the mixture to simmer until the rice is half cooked [about 10 minutes].
Remove the rice mixture from the heat and stir in tomato paste, currants, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint leaves, dill weed, allspice and cumin before allowing the mixture to cool.
Prepare a large pot by placing an inverted plate on the bottom, in between the pot and the stovetop [this protects the dolmas from direct heat when steaming].
Rinse the grape leaves in warm water before draining them and removing any excess stems. Place about 1 teaspoon of the cooled rice mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold in the sides and then roll into a cigar shape. Place in the prepared pot and repeat with your remaining grape leaves.
Pour in just enough warm water to reach the bottom of the first layer of dolmas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until rice is totally cooked. Check the water level often and add more as necessary. [Makes 8 servings]