STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES (Zeytinyagli Yaprak Sarmasi) DOLMA

  • 9 oz grape leaves, fresh or canned
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup rice
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 big size onions chopped finely
  • 1 cup parsley
  •  2 tbs all spice
  • 2 tbs ground black pepper
  • 2+ 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tbs salt
  • Generous 2 x  0.5 cup olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

    If using fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly, place in a saucepan, and cover with water. Add the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes. If using canned leaves, wash them and put them in a saucepan with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, drain, and wash again with cold water to remove the excess salt.

While the leaves are simmering, add 0.5 cupolive  oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and garlic. Sotee the onion until pinkish, add washed and drained rice. Stir the micture rugularly until rice is fried. Add the spices and2 tbs sugar ad ¼ cup water. After it comes to a boil turn off the heat add parsley.

Place one leaf on a plate, vein side upward, and put 1 teaspoon of filling in the centre of the leaf near the stem end. Fold the stem end, and then both sides of the leaf over the filling and roll into a cigar shape. Repeat until all the stuffing is used up; you will have some leaves left over. Line the base of a saucepan with the spare leaves, to prevent sticking, and pack stuffed grape leaves in tight layers. Place a heavy dinner plate on top of the dolma to keep them from unraveling. The cooking pot should be about 2/3 full. Mix the oil with a generous 0.5 cup water, the sugar, and lemon juice, and pour over the stuffed leaves. Cook for one hour. check the water while cooking if you need more water add warm water.