Dolma is a dish my Mediterranean family have made for a very long time, and it’s delicious. It is essentially vine (and sometimes onions/peppers/cabbage) leaves stuffed with a tomatoey, mince meat filling. They take a while to prepare but boy oh boy if you get it right I can promise you a tantalising, Turkish party in your mouth, so I’m gonna share the love and fill you guys in on my super secret family recipe.
You will need:
Around a pound of mince meat (beef)
Standard long grain white rice
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1- Wash and boil your vine leaves. This should soften them so they’re easy to fold and fill.
2- Next it’s time to make the filling! Take a pound of mince meat and place it into a large mixing bowl. Then, dice, as finely as you can 3 onions and add them into to the bowl. Take 3 table spoons of tomato puree add it in. Juice 1 whole lemon and pour it into the mixture. Following this add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, 6 table spoons of olive oil and a handful of chopped parsley. Lastly take a tin of chopped tomatoes and blend it so it’s completely liquidised and add the final ingredient in to your filling. Then you guessed it…mix it all together.
3- Now it’s the trickier, more time consuming part, making the actual dolmas, dum dum dum. If the leaves are hard boil them to loosen them up, after that drain the bowl and start using them. Lay your leaf flat and upright with the spine facing outwards, then use your hands to fork out a portion of meat. Place the meat near the bottom of the leaf and spread it out into a sausage shape (don’t put too much of the filling in otherwise you may be unable to properly wrap the dolma, and it could explode whilst cooking if too full!). Start by taking the leaves from the bottom and wrapping it over once, then take each side of the leaf and close your dolma by folding them inwards, after that just roll upwards until there’s no more leaf left to roll, simple.
4- Now onto the simplest part of this meal, actually cooking the dolma. Take a large pot and use any extra vine or cabbage leaves to cover the bottom of the pot to prevent the dolma from burning. Then begin to gently stack them in the pot, once you’ve done that cover your dolma in boiled water, about a mug full. Finally add a table spoon of tomato puree, drizzle olive oil over your dolma, and take a small tea plate to press down on top of the dolma to prevent breakage.
5- You’re nearly finished, this next part is as basic as you can get. Place the pot on a low simmer for 50/60 minutes and then you’re finished. Once you take them off you’re done! Little tip add either greek yoghurt or more lemon (depending on your preference) to give the dolma even more flavour.
Well that was a bit different, but hopefully somewhat interesting/helpful to you all. If you liked this post let me know and I may share some more family recipes! Until next time, laters lovelies.