It is a very popular dish in all regions. It is a favorite at tea and coctail parties and picnics. The vine leaves can be pickled in brine and used out of season. In that case, they should first be soaked in warm water to reduce the salt, and the amount of salt used in the recepie should be halved.
- 150 grams vine leaves
- 2⅔ cups (550g) water
- 3 teaspoons (18g) salt
- 6 big (600g) onion
- ¾ cup (150g) olive oil
- 2 tablespoon (20g) pine nuts
- 1⅓ cup (240g) rice
- 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (20g) currants
- 1 small size bunch (40g) parsley
- 1 small size bunch (30g) dill
- 10-15 leaves (10g) fresh mint
- ¾ teaspoon (1.5g) cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon (1.5g) black pepper
- ½ teaspoon (2g) allspice
- 2 tablespoons (20g) lemon juice
- 1 medium size (100g) lemon
- Wash the vine leaves and remove the coarse stems.
- Put the water and a teaspoon of salt in a pot. Bring to boil and add half of the leaves. Simmer them for 4–5 minutes, turning over once.
- Simmer the other half in similar fashion.
- Measure the cooking liquid and complete it to 2¾ cups and set aside.
- Peel the onions, wash and chop finely, place in pot together with oil and nuts, cover and sauté for 20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Stir a few time with the lid removed so that the nuts are browned.
- Wash and drain the rice and add to the pot and stir a couple of times.
- Add the remaining salt, sugar and the 1¾ cups of the hot cooking liquid, stir and sprinkle with currants.
- Simmer it on first medium and then low heat for 10–15 minutes, until all the liquid is reduced.
- Wash the parsley and the dill and remove the stems and chop finely.
- Add them to the cooked rice together with mint, spices and the lemon juice and leave covered for 10 minutes.
- Place the vine leaves so that the side with veins face inside when wrapped. Place the prepared filling to one side, fold the side edges over he filling and then wrap it.
- Cover the bottom of a shallow saucepan with vine leaves and the removed parsley and dill stems and place the wrapped vine leaves over them.
- Place a heat-proof flat plate over the leave wraps (dolmas). Heat the remaining boiling liquid and add to the pan slowly, pouring from the edge of the dolmas.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish when cool, and garnish with lemon slices.