Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves / Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarma

Yarprak Sarma

A dear friend of mine likes to be a white-collar working woman and always associates preparing dolma with being a house wife – which she thinks is easier. What can I say, I am trying tobe both of them. If you are living in Istanbul like me, you are lucky – regarding dolma. You can buy ready vegetarian dolma even in weekly markets, in supermarkets or even order them home. I do the same from time to time. However whenever I want to boast or please my guests or have some extra time I find myself preparing dolma.

I don’t know if I have to say it again; this is a recipe I have shown in my Turkish Cooking Lessons and have prepared many times myself. The rolling and the part about the leaves is exactly the same as in groud meat dolma.

To start with; you should buy the correct leaves. In Turkey, the best are sold in the markets, when you are buying tell the seller what you will cook. If you will cook this dish with groundmeat stuffing you will need smaller leaves. If you will go for a vegetarian version cooked with rice you will be offered larger leaves. Pickle shops is another alternative to buy good quality leaves. The best grape leaves come from the Turkish city called Tokat, which my in-laws come from. Supermarkets should be your last choice to buy grape leaves. You will be putting in lot of time, so buying good leaves is worth for.

I suggest you set the scene first. Prepare a table with a comfortable chair and with the following within your reach:

  • TV or video remote controller
  • Your phone
  • All the thoroughly washed grape leaves
  • A flat plate
  • A dessert spoon
  • A scissors or a knife
  • Stuffing pilfaf
  • Some paper towels

And perhaps the best of all an extra pair of hands. You should wash the leaves very well. These leaves are kept as they are with the help of a good amount of salt, so washing thoroughly is important. You might be surprised but I use a pressure cooker for this dish. I you choose not to any other large pot will do. Throw in some stalks and spread down a few stiff or worn leaves to prevent the dolmas to stick in the bottom and get burnt.

Grape leaf stems Grape leaves in bottom

Now you are ready to roll. Place a grape leaf on a flat dish. The shiny part should be facing downward. Put a teapoon of the stuffing on the part close to the stem. Fold two sides inwards and roll the wrap upwards like a cigar. Do not roll too loose or tight. Continue until either the leaves or the filling is finished.

 

Yaprak Sarma Roll 1 Yaprak Sarma Roll 2 Yaprak Sarma Roll 3 ???????????????????????????????

When one or all of the leaves or the stuffing is finished, you are almost finished with the dish. Don’t forget to cover it with a plate so the rolls swim around while cooking.

Rolled Yaprak Sarma Covered Yaprak Sarma

If you have left over grape leaves you might want to serve them with a lovely Lentil and Bulghur Salad or save it in the freezer to use next time. If you have left over stuffing stuff it in boiled cabbage leafs.

The only tip you need about the stuffing is that you should not be overcooking the rice. It should be “almost” cooked, as it will be cooked again with the leaves.

Stuffing Pilaf

Serve cold as an appetizer. Enjoy and show off.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves / Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarma
Print Recipe
One of the classic olive oil dishes.
Servings Prep Time
1 huge serving dish 90 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 huge serving dish 90 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves / Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarma
Print Recipe
One of the classic olive oil dishes.
Servings Prep Time
1 huge serving dish 90 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 huge serving dish 90 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Grape Leaves and Cooking
Stuffing
Servings: huge serving dish
Instructions
Grape Leaves and Cooking
  1. Wash thoroughly each grape leave. Remove the stems, but keep about 20 of the stems, discard the rest.
  2. Put the leaves in boiling water and keep for several minutes, to get rid of excess salt. Be careful not to keep leaves in hot water too long. If the leaves become too soft, it will be difficult to pack. Wash well under running water, one by one.
  3. Put the saved stems and several worn grape leaves to the bottom of your pot. This will prevent your "dolma" to stick on the bottom of the bottom and/or get burnt.
  4. Place a grape leaf on a flat dish. The shiny part should be facing downward. Put ½ tablespoon of filling on the close to the stem. Fold two sides inwards and roll the wrap upwards like a cigar. Do not roll too loose, or tight. Continue until either the leaves or the filling is finished.
  5. Place each roll in the pot, firmly side by side in circles.Add a 150 ml of warm water and 100 ml olive oil. Put a porcelain plate on the very top so the dolma’s don’t swim around in the pan.
  6. Cook at high heat first. Then when the water boils, reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the leaves are cooked. For about half an hour. The water should be almost soaked by then. Let cool. Serve as a side dish. Garnish with lemon slices.
Stuffing
  1. Grate the onions, or use a food processor.
  2. Peel and chop the tomato.
  3. Wash the rice, pine nut and the currant and drain.
  4. Pour about 150 milliliter of olive oil in a non sticky pot. Add the pine nut. As soon as they are slightly brownish, add the onions. Sauté until translucent.
  5. Add the tomato and the tomato paste, mix.
  6. Add the salt, currant, sugar and the other spices. Mix and add the 200 ml warm water and close the lid. You do not need to stir again. Cook over first high and then at low heat as possible.
  7. Cook until the water is soaked up by the rice. Rice should not be cooked all the way; as it will be cooked again with the grape leaves. Taste and add more salt or other spices if you find necessary.
  8. Wash and chop parsley and dill and add. Mix and cover lid. Set aside to cool.
Recipe Notes

 

 

 

 

 

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