Arabic Recipe #12 -Stuffed Grape Leaves ورق عنب

How to Make Dolma (Grape Leaves Roll)

Dolma is a Middle Eastern dish. In Western countries, it’s equivalent to stuffed cabbage roll. The origin of the word is from Turkey, which means the stuffed thing. It’s known to many cultures in different names and styles. Traditionally it is made from grape leaves. In Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon in addition to grape leaves it is also made from different vegetables like stuffed tomatoes, stuffed eggplants, stuffed cabbage, stuffed zucchini, and stuffed onions. In this instructions set, we will go over the basic steps to make Dolmas from grape leaves. Although it takes time and effort to make, it is very delicious.


  • 3 cups of long-grain rice
  • ¾ tablespoon of allspice (ground)
  • 1 lb of finely minced lamb
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb of grape leaves (canned or raw)
  • 4 tbs of butter
  • Salt as desired
  • 1 large diced onion
  • Water
  • 2 lemons


  1. Prepare the leaves.If you are using raw grape leaves, you will have to prepare them. To prepare raw grape leaves, bring half a gallon of water to a boil and add salt to it. Put the grape leaves in the boiling water for about 15 min. take them off carefully, put them in a cold-water bath, and let them soak. Otherwise, go directly to mix preparation.
  2. Prepare the filling.In a mixing bowl, mix together the rice, tomato paste, allspice, black pepper, garlic, meat, onion, and 1/4 cup of water. Keep mixing until all the ingredients are well distributed (see picture).
  3. Fill the grape leaf.Take about a teaspoon of the mix and put it in the middle of the grape leaf. Then, spread the mix evenly as a half a cylinder. Remember to leave about inch (0.6 cm) space from each end of the leaf. This will make folding the leaf easier. Now, fold from the stem end of the leaf. Then, tuck in the empty sides toward the center. After that, keep folding until you have a complete roll of a grape leaf(see picture). Repeat the folding procedure on the rest of the mix. Finally, start laying the rolled grape leaves in a pot. make sure you lay them close to each other.
  4. Cook.Put the pot on a stove and pour about 2 cups of water in the pot. Then, spread the butter evenly on the top of grape leaves. Cover the pot with its lid and cook on high for about two hours. Usually, the cooking time depends on the stove and the material of the pot. However, cooking can be about one hour and fifteen minutes after the mix has come to a boil. After the cooking is done, turn off the stove and let stand uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve.On a serving plate, take out one grape leaf at a time and arrange them as desired. Preferably, Dolmas are served hot.
  6. Finished.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Where do you add the lemon?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Add the lemon juice on top of the dolma so it adds a savory flavor.
  • Question
    How do I cook and prepare the rice prior to stuffing?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You don't. You mix uncooked rice with the uncooked meat. It will all cook together inside the grape leaf inside the pot.
Unanswered Questions
  • If I use green peppers what should I put underneath them?
  • How many servings would this be?
  • Can I put the dolmas together in the evening, refrigerate them, and then boil them the next morning?
  • Why did you put butter?! That is not the right way! I know because I am Armenian.
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  • Spray oil on the bottom of the cooking pan and place a layer of grape leaves on the bottom. This will prevent rolled up grape leaves from sticking to the bottom.
  • Stuffed grape leaves can be layered with small stuffed zucchinis and tomatoes in a dutch oven. Some people prefer Dolma served hot, others prefer it cold during the next day.
  • You can also add a tbs of barberries with the other ingredients together.

Video: Lamb & Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves - How to Make Dolmas

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Date: 03.12.2018, 20:30 / Views: 72444