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Dolma Recipe

Dolma Recipe

Dolma, a traditional dish found in various cuisines of the Mediterranean and Middle East, refers to stuffed vegetables. It's commonly made with grape leaves, but can also include vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or tomatoes filled with a flavorful mixture of rice, meat, and spices. Here's a recipe for grape leaf dolma:

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb or beef (optional, can be made vegetarian)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the Dolma:

  • 1 jar of grape leaves (about 40-50 leaves)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Lemon slices and fresh mint for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Filling:

    • In a large bowl, combine the uncooked rice, ground meat (if using), chopped onion, parsley, dill, mint, tomato paste, cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
    • Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. Prepare the Grape Leaves:

    • Rinse the grape leaves in warm water and gently pat them dry.
    • Trim any thick stems from the leaves.
  3. Assemble the Dolma:

    • Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up and stem end towards you.
    • Place a small amount of the filling near the stem end of the leaf.
    • Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up the leaf tightly into a small log or cigar shape. Don't roll too tightly as the rice will expand during cooking.
    • Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
  4. Cook the Dolma:

    • Arrange the stuffed grape leaves in layers in a large pot. Make sure they're packed snugly so they don't unravel during cooking.
    • Pour the broth over the dolma. It should just cover them.
    • Place a plate on top of the dolma to keep them submerged and to prevent them from unraveling.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to low and cook for about 40-60 minutes, or until the rice and meat are fully cooked.
  5. Serve:

    • Carefully remove the dolma from the pot and let them cool slightly.
    • Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with lemon slices and fresh mint.

Dolma is a versatile dish, and you can experiment with different herbs, spices, and fillings according to your taste. Enjoy your homemade dolma!

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