Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dolma

Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions, including Turkey, Egypt, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, the Balkans, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Northern Sudan, Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma, which is more precisely called yaprak dolma or sarma. Common vegetables to stuff include zucchini, eggplant, tomato and pepper. The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolma are generally served warm, often with sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold, though meatless dolma are eaten both ways in Iran. Both are often eaten with yoghurt. Read More...

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 potato, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
Preparation:
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the uncooked rice, ground beef, parsley, allspice, pepper and curry powder until well blended.
  • Pour oil into the bottom of a large pot, and spread to cover. Make a layer of potato slices to cover the bottom of the pan. The dolmas should not be able to touch the bottom of the pan.
  • Lay the grape leaves out flat on a cutting board. Place about a tablespoon of the beef mixture in the center of one leaf. Fold sides in towards the center, then roll up from the bottom loosely. Set in the pot seam side down. Repeat with the remaining mixture and leaves. For large leaves, you may cut them in half at the center vein. Place a heavy dinner plate on top of the dolma to keep them from unraveling. The cooking pot should be about 2/3 full.
  • Pour tomato sauce and water over the dolma. The liquid should cover them by at least one inch. Adjust the amount of water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.

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