Grape leaves (stuffed), (Arabic: ورق دوالي); (Hebrew: עלי גפן ממולאים), are an appetizer popular in Middle Eastern countries, including Turkey and Persia, where it is usually eaten with stuffed rice that has been seasoned with a multitude of spices.
- Batch of thin, freshly picked leaves from the grape vine
- 1 K uncooked rice
- black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- Dried mint leaves
- 1 C raisins
- Fresh dill
- green onions (scallions)
- cooking oil
- 2 lemon
- Soak leaves in boiling hot water to soften, appx. 15 minutes (choose only the thinnest leaves)
- Fill with uncooked rice (first rinse the rice)
- Add spices to rice: turmeric, black pepper, salt, dried mint leaves, raisins, finely chopped dill, parsley and green onions (scallions)
- Roll in leaves first by folding the three-sides and then rolling like a sleeping-bag.
- Place in pot with a little water and oil (water, oil and lemon juice, filled to a height just above the grape leaves).
- Cover pot with lid. First bring to a boil, then lower heat.
- Cook over low heat.
- Place sliced lemon on top of stuffed grape leaves (for added flavour)
NOTE: The Arabs have a practice to place the fatty tail of a sheep on top of the grape leaves while cooking, so that the melted fat is absorbed in the rice and leaves; in this manner it imparts its good flavour.
Advice: When great quantities of grape leaves are to be stored for a long period of time, they can be stored in one's deep freezer. However, they should be stored without rinsing the leaves in water, since this destroys them. Only when thawed out should they be rinsed.