This recipe is similar to the Greeks' "dolmades," but has Middle Eastern roots. In Arabic, the dish is called "warak a'nab," in which grape leaves are filled with a vegetarian stuffing made with rice and then rolled. Stuffed grape leaves make a healthy meal, snack or side dish. Below is the recipe so you can make this tasty meal at home.
Stuffed grape leaves
Serving size: 4–5 people; more if served as a side dish
grape leaves (can be bought in a jar)
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch green onions
Juice from 2-1/2 squeezed lemons
2 cups rice (use brown rice for a healthier option)
1/2 teaspoon salt; use more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper; use more or less to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon crushed dried mint or a few leaves of freshly minced mint
Mince the parsley, tomatoes and green onions. Place them together in a bowl.
Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, pepper and mint.
After washing the rice, add it to the bowl.
Add the oil and lemon juice. Mix.
Place a grape leaf onto a plate. Spoon a bit of the rice mixture in a horizontal line across the widest part of the leaf. Fold each side of the leaf at its widest inward. Fold the bottom of the leaf (where the stem cuts off) up. Roll tightly into a cylinder. Repeat for all grape leaves.
Line each rolled grape leaf into a pot. Place the stuffed grape leaves close together, then on top of one another in layers. Pour enough water into the pot so that it just covers the grape leaves.
On medium heat, cook until the water has disappeared, which usually takes about 40–45 minutes.
Once cooked, let the grape leaves cool, then serve them with a side of plain yogourt. Some guests may want to squeeze extra lemon juice on them to taste.