Azerbaijani-Style Stuffed Grape Leaves Dolma

Azerbaijani-Style Stuffed Grape Leaves  Dolma

Yarpag dolmasi – Dolma of grape (vine) leaves

The term "dolma" covers a variety of stuffed vegetable dishes, widespread in the Caucasus, Middle East and Mediterranean area. Dolma of grape (vine) leaves or yarpag dolmasi are one of the most popular forms of dolma. Dolma in Azerbaijani Turkish means – “filled with” or “stuffed”. In this dish grape leaves will be stuffed by mince. Here is the recipe for the variety of dolma with grape leaves, one of the delicious dishes of Azeri cuisine

  • 150 g vine leaves
  • 500 g minced lamb or 250 g minced lamb and 250 g minced beef
  • 250 g onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tspn turmeric
  • Fresh herbs – coriander, dill, mint and/or tarragon
  • 50 g short-grain rice
  • 50 g chickpeas (optional)
  • A litle bit – appr. 30 gr. butter (for a lighter filling)

Take the butter out of the fridge so it will be soft enough to mix in. If using fresh herbs, wash and chop finely. Wash and rinse the rice but do not cook in advance. In our family we are using chickpeas, but it is not in the traditional recipe. If you are using chickpeas, cook them in advance and halve the cooked peas. Mix the mince and chopped onion with your hands. Add the rice, chopped herbs or dried spices, salt & pepper, chickpeas and butter. Mix thoroughly.

If using fresh vine leaves, wash and parboil. If using bottled vine leaves, put them in a large bowl, add hot water and leave for two to three minutes to soften. Strain the leaves. Take a vine leaf, place a dollop of mince in the middle and fold the corners of the leaf down and then up into a ball. You fold the leaf as a convolute.

Place the dolma in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Here you can see step by step description in picture how you can do dolma.

Cover the bottom of the pan with dolma and then add subsequent layers.

Place an inverted dessert plate or saucer on top of the dolma and weigh down with a heavy object, such as a stone. This helps to stop the dolma unwrapping during cooking. Add water to the pan to the level of the plate.

Bring the saucepan to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for one and a half to two hours until the meat and rice are cooked.

Dolma are always served with yoghurt mixed with finely chopped garlic and fresh bread.

Nush olsun! Bon appetite!