Here is the Dolmades recipe for making these popular Greek parcels of joy, dolmades, stuffed vine-leaves. You can substitute with preserved vine-leaves or fresh silver beet. Most people think that dolmades are really hard to make because they look so intricate, but they really are easy to make if you follow a basic recipe and take notes of essential tips. Greek dolmades recipes also differ a lot. Every family has their own take on how to make classic Greek dishes. There is no real correct way to make dolmades. It really comes down to personal preference.
Some recipes call for the rice to be in its raw state, others use partially cooked rice, others include minced meat in the filling, others incorporate nuts in them. I have made them both with raw and cooked rice, and for me the only difference in the end result is slightly less cooking time required in the pot, if the rice is precooked slightly at the beginning. Personally, I prefer the vegetarian dolmades, so the recipe below does not include minced meat.
Ingredients for Dolmades Recipe stuffed vine-leaves
50 Vine leaves
1/4 cup oil
1 small brown onion finely diced
2/3 cup of long grain rice
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 large tomato grated
1/4 cup of olive oil to cover
1/2 cup of water
Handful of parsley dill and mint
Spring onion green part finely chopped
Salt & pepper
Optional: Greek yoghurt or tzatziki to serve
1. Heat oil in a fry pan and add the brown onion, sauté until translucent then add the rice and cook for 4 minutes. Then add in the fresh tomato and paste with 1/2 cup water and cook off for a few 2-3 minutes before adding the parsley, dill, mint, spring onion, salt, pepper. Add a little water if mix is too dry. Cook for another minute. Turn off heat and allow to cool enough to be able to handle.
2. Use a tablespoon of the filling to stuff each leaf. Place filling on the inside of the leaf and the top end, roll in from the top once, then sides, then roll all the way to the end of the leaf.
3. Place some flat leaves at the bottom of a casserole dish and then place each dolma on the bottom of the dish ensuring each is placed close to the next one.
4. Put the rolled parcels into a casserole dish and cover with plate then half cup of water and ¼ cup of oil, cover with lid and allow to steam for about 30 minutes.
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