Stuffed Grape Leaves

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This a scrumptuous, classic main dish served with yogurt. It has a fine, sophisticated, feast-like taste. It is a must, for anyone interested in Turkish cuisine. Grape leaves can be readily found in local or online Turkish or other Mediterranean grocery stores. There is also an equally delightful, vegetarian version of this recipe cooked in olive oil and served at room temperature. 


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 lb ground beef or preferably, lamb
  • 2 medium tomates
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/2 bunch of Italian, flat leaf parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspon coriander
  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon pepper paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Grape leaves


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grate the tomatoes, set aside.
  2. Finely chop the onions, set aside.
  3. Finely chop the parsley, set aside.
  4. Put all the ingredients, the meat, the rice, the tomatoes, the onions and the spices in a bowl and mix well by hand.
  5. You will be separating the leaves one by one as you fill them. Put the leaves in a bowl filled with water - the water helps separating the leaves and you can place the leaves around the edges of the bowl.
  6. Fill each leaf as shown in the video below.
  7. Arrange the stuffed leaves in a large pot as shown below.
  8. Spread the butter cut into small pieces and the pepper paste over the stuffed leaves as shown below.
  9. Add water.
  10. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Man separating grape leaves in Kadıköy, Istanbul

Copyright, Mehmet C. Ozturk

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