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Dolmades? Sarma? – Greek? Turkish? Ottoman!

June 8, 2011

I have became a little behind with recipes over the last few weeks, I have a backlog of about 25 which I have made, photographed and uploaded but simply not written up yet! So time to try and get back into it and get some sorted so recipes will keep coming while I am away in Mexico over the summer, hopefully expect a lot of Mexican food on my return πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Dolma seems quite hard to make, but is actually pretty easy once you know how, if using packaged leaves, make sure you go for the ones in brine, they are much easier to unpack than the dry salty ones and tear less. Big supermarkets and most foreign food stores will sell packs of Vine Leaves, and they can also be got on the internet. Any leftover mix can be used to make very nice little Rice-cakes if mixed with Egg and baked!

– Recipe –

Vine Leaves

2-3 cups uncooked Rice

1 large Onion, chopped very fine

500g Lamb Mince

a handfull of Pine Nuts or crushed Walnuts

3 tablespoons Parsley

2 tablespoons Marjoram

  1. Soak the Vine Leaves in warm water and tease them apart, place on a surface reserving any that are ripped or small or just generally don’t seem too great.
  2. Boil the Rice for 10 minutes with a little Salt (1/3 Rice, 2/3 Water), let cool slightly.
  3. Fill the sink with soapy water, and then mix all the ingredients, except the Vine Leaves, in a bowl very thoroughly (making sure you season the mix!).
  4. Line the bottom of a large pan with the reserved broken leaves. Take the good leaves, place a dollop of the mix on the part nearest the stem, form it into a tube and then roll the sides over the mix before rolling the whole thing up into a tight cylender starting at the part that joins the stem, make it as tight as possible. Keep on repeating this and packing the Dolmas very tightly into the pan.
  5. When they are all in there, cover over with Water or Stock, put a plate over the top with a weight on it (otherwise some will become lose) and simmer at least 30 minutes being careful not to burn the leaves in the bottom of the pan. The more liquid you reduce the tastier it will be, but the more likely you will be to burn the leaves!
  6. Take out, and let cool slightly.

Serve with Minted Yogurt and enjoy!

  1. asdasd permalink

    Dolma means stuffed and sarma means wrapped in Turkish, while they have no meaning in Greek language. Oh, maybe Dolmades means “We like stealing Turkish dishes and rename them.” πŸ™‚

    What you made is sarma. Looks like this:

    Yours look thick and dry, you need olive oil.

    And dolma:


    If you are interested in Middle Eastern cuisine, try Turkish and Lebanese recipes, they are the best. Good luck. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the clarification!
      I have a Turkish friend who liked them very thin like in your picture, a friend with Greek relations who made them pretty similar to my pictures, and an Armenian friend who uses so much olive oil and so many spices that he gives everyone, well, runny tummies to put it politely!
      I generally find myself dipping between the food from places I have been to, restaurants I like and recipes I get from friends home-cooking, but all the Turkish food I have tried so far has been amazing (excluding cucumber, I have an irrational hatred of cucumber!).
      I have to say, having eaten the tree types above, the thin ones from my local Turkish restaurant were by far the best!

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