Saturday, May 5, 2012

Middle Eastern Dolma Recipe


So it has been a while since we've last put up a post... but to make up for it, we've cooked Dolma for ourselves and put the recipe, along with photos, up for you! Dolma is a popular dish in many Muslim/Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Turkey. Basically, it consists of a stuffed vegetable (Cabbage, Grape Vine Leaves, Bell Peppers, or Zucchini) with ground beef/lamb and small grain rice. There are many different ways to cook this dish, and this way is a little bit of a mix of most of the ways *tongue twister* - since it was our first time :)

P.S - go ahead and try it, it tasted good lol. The ratings we received were 9/10 (from 6 people)
* Ingredients at the end of the post
* Sorry for bad picture quality (phone camera)

In a food processor, mix 1 medium red onion, 5 cloves of garlic and 1 green chili. 

Wash and soak your Egyptian/small grain rice in a bowl (warm water - 30/45 min) 

In a separate bowl, mix your drained rice, meat, and chopped onion mix. Also, add your spices. Sumac, Dill, 7 spice, ground cumin, ground coriander, and table spoon of salt. Mix everything well, then add your table spoon of tomato paste, and squeeze half a lemon into the mix. Mix thoroughly. 

Have your (stuff-able) vegetables cleaned and soaked in cold water. Take off the tops of your dell pepper, clean the insides and keep both pieces together. Open up your large white onion layer by layer with only a cut on one side.  

To clean out your Zucchini's - cut it in 3 sections, slightly insert a knife around the inside (but a cm away from wall). Then, use a spoon to scoop out the insides - be careful not to scoop out all the way to the bottom, and not to scoop so much that the walls rip. 

Stuff your Vegetable so they have 2-3 cm of space left over. This way when the rice and meat expand, your Dolma's wont over flow. 

Lay out your grape vine leave so that the smooth side is on the plate, and the vein side faces you. Cut off the stem part on the bottom of the leaf. 

Place a small amount of Dolma mix in the lower-center part of the leaf. If your leaf is bigger, use more mix, if it is smaller, use less. 

First, put the bottom flap on the meat. Then fold in both side. The gently roll it up while slightly tucking in the meat. 

Roll away from yourself! 

Place Vegetables into pot. First the zucchinis, then the bell peppers, then the onions, then the grape leaves. 
Feel free to add lemons and onion slices to top and bottom of pot. 

Cover food with a heat safe plate. 

Pour three cups of liquid over top of plate. I am adding 2 cups of chicken stock  and 1 cup of boiling water. 
If you use plain water, put some salt in the water (1tsp)

Cook for 20 min on high. Then 50 min on medium. Then 25 min on low. Until all the water evaporates. 
Make sure grape leaves are soft, rice is soft, meat will be cooked. 

Take out of pot carefully so they don't break. (mines are broken)

You can serve it with yogurt. (red pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, mint, cucumber mix, 1 clove garlic)

Ta da! you are done :) 

Enjoy <3 


  • 3 cups of Egyptian Rice 
  • 2 Pounds of ground beef/lamb 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 1 medium red onion 
  • 5 Bell Peppers (different colors) 
  • 2 large Zucchinis 
  • 1 can/jar of Grape Vine Leaves 
  • 5 cloves of Garlic 
  • 3 Large Lemons 
  • 1 cup of Yogurt 
  • 2 mini cucumbers 
  • Salt 
  • pepper 
  • Dried Dill 
  • Dried Mint 
  • red pepper 
  • Semagh (or Sumac) 
  • Middle Eastern Spice Mix (or 7 spice) 
  • Ground Cumin 
  • Ground Coriander 
  • 1 Table Spoon of Tomato Paste 
  • Olive Oil or Grape Seed oil (1 table spoon) 

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