Dolmadakia -Stuffed Vine leaves
The following recipe is another one that many countries around middle east will fight for its origin. Some they will say its Greek, others its Turkish, maybe from Jordan? Who knows. .. We can conclude that it is from …that place of the world.
Recently in the place that i work one co-worker…English with Turkish origins brought me some vine leaves that his father (together with his Cypriot neighbour) are growing together in London, weird combination huh?
Well, the idea was simple, we were discussing about dolmades in the office and he told me that he could bring me vine leaves so i can try and cook them while i was here as i couldn’t find anywhere else in London.
Just to make clear. Even if in Turkey, Jordan and generally in Middle East when they refer to dolmades they mean in generally any kind of recipe where you have stuffed vegetables that is not applied in Greece. “Dolma” may mean stuffed but in Greece, dolmadakia is basically the recipe for stuffed vine leaves with recipe.
And after that small detail… here we go… 🙂
- Around 500gr of Vine Leaves
- 1 cup of rice
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 bunch of mint
- 1-2 lemon juice
- Salt, pepper, oilve oil
- Chopped onio
How to cook dolmadakia
First of all, you need to prepare the vine leaves. Ideally from the previous day depending on your time, you need to put each one of them in a pot of boiling water and let them boil for 2-3 minutes until you see and they change the color from deep to green to a bit whiter, pale one. When you do that, if you want to , you can preserve them in the freezer in case you want to cook them later on. If you don’t, then leave them to dry.
Well, next we need to prepare our stuffing. Chop the mint, the onions, the dill and the parsley. In a small pot in medium to low heat, we put a bit of olive oil, and throw inside the ingredients stirring to go everywhere. We add the cup of rice and continue to stir making sure that the leaves from our stuffing dont get burned. Just enough so they can get mixed and the rice gets oiled. This whole process shouldn’t take more than 5-7 minutes. Add the juice from 1 lemon and let it cool down . Oh yeah! Salt and pepper please!
So, now the important stuff. You need to put each vine leave down with the shiny part (the one that is looking at the sun 🙂 ) looking down and you put a small spoon of the stuffing in each part. Then you roll them slowly like you are making cigars making sure that you close each side s they do not open. There is no easy way to describe the process, but in order to have the ideal shape you will need to close sides almost immediately after the first roll. (i had some help also in the first time, i admit it) . Don’t over do it with the stuffing cause when the rice is boiled it will become bigger and brake the vine leaves.
In a big pot put some of the vine leaves down in order to protect the dolmadakia to burn. Then place each one round and one in top of the other. When you finish add some additional vine leaves and fill them slowly with water until it just covers them. Usually a good tip is to place a plate on top while they are boiling to keep them in place. Boil them for around 40 minutes and serve them together with tzatziki or with lemon.