|Servings||About 6–8 people|
|Time||1–4 hours, depending on the number of cooks|
Dolma is a main course from the Middle East. It's really delicious, and can be eaten for days. For a pot of dolma, 1–3 other people are recommended to help.
- 25 grape leaves
- 2 ½ pounds onions (about 10 medium-sized onions)
- 2 hot peppers
- 2 zucchini, peeled
- 2 squash, peeled
- 1 small cabbage
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 green bell peppers
- 2 pounds coarse or minced raw chuck roast
- 1 ½ tablespoons allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 3 cups raw rice
- 1 large can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 can tomato purée or 3 fresh tomatoes
- 2 jalapeños (optional), chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 ½–3 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon citric acid (lemon doozy)
- 2 cups water
- Blanch the grape leaves by placing them in a pot of boiling water, covering with a towel, and cooking for about 3–5 minutes.
- Cut each onion at the bottom root and slice ½-inch lengthwise. Boil for 5–10 minutes or until soft, then separate each layer without tearing.
- Slice zucchini and squash lengthwise, and hollow them out.
- Core cabbage and boil for 10 minutes, then pull leaves apart to prepare for stuffing.
- Hollow out hot peppers, tomatoes, and peppers while keeping their tops.
- Combine all of the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stuff the grape leaves: Lay each leaf shiny side down. Place 1 tablespoon of stuffing at the bottom center of the leaf by the stem. Fold the bottom of the leaf up to cover the stuffing. Fold in the sides and roll up in a cylindrical fashion.
- Stuff the tomatoes and green pepper, and replace their tops.
- Stuff the other vegetables, placing the zucchini and squash on their side and onions (rolled tightly) and tomatoes upright.
- Layer the stuffed vegetables in a pot, alternating grape leaves and vegetables. The top layer should be grape leaves.
- Mix citric acid and water, and pour over the dolma to just barely cover the top layer of grape leaves.
- Put a small plate (inverted) directly on top of the pot of dolma as a weight.
- Cover the pot, and cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until it boils.
- Once the dolma boils, lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice and meat are cooked.
- Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
- Remove lid and plate. Place a large platter on top of the pot, and using oven mitts, flip dolma pot onto the platter on top of a table.
- Arrange dolma on platter as desired and serve.
Notes, tips, and variations Edit
- Stuff all the vegetables a bit loosely to allow rice to expand while cooking.
- Bulghur may be substituted for rice in any dolma recipe.
- 1 cup lemon juice can be substituted for the citric acid.