Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves

Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 50 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is a delicious vegetarian dish which makes a beautiful appetizer, side dish or mezze. This particular recipe is of Algerian origin - it's known as Dolma Dalya or Feuilles de vigne farcies - which I have slightly tweaked to suit my families taste. If you have never made stuffed vine leaves, you may want to take a look at my step by step tutorial here on Zaar :

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Vine Leaves:.
  2. To prepare fresh vine leaves, trim the stalks & wash the leaves under running water. Blanch in lightly salted water for 15 minutes. Rinse then drain & set aside.
  3. To prepare bottled vine leaves, take the leaves out of the bottle & soak in plenty of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Rinse the leaves individually under running water the set aside.
  4. To prepare vacuum packed vine leaves, remove the leaves from the packet & soak in plenty of cold water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse the leaves individually under running water the set aside.
  5. Finely dice the pepper, tomato & onion. Fry gently in a little olive oil along with the minced garlic for approx 4 minutes. Add the spices & seasoning & cook for a further 30 seconds.
  6. Remove from the heat & add the rice, olive oil & water. Set aside.
  7. Broth:.
  8. Finely dice the onion & tomato & fry gently in a little olive oil. Add the cinnamon & seasoning, water, stock cube & lemon / lime juice. Cook for 15 minutes.
  9. After 15 minutes, remove from heat. At this point, you can do one of three things: liquidize the sauce, strain it to leave just a broth or keep it as it is.
  10. Stuff & fold your vine leaves:.
  11. Remove one leaf from the bowl of water & place in the centre of a dinner plate.
  12. Place one teaspoon full of filling into the bottom centre of the leaf - as in the photo.
  13. Take the left corner of the leaf & fold up to cover the filling.
  14. Do the same with the right hand side.
  15. Bring in both sides then gently roll up the leaf.
  16. Repeat these steps another 49 times - When folding the leaves, be firm but do not wrap them too tightly as they may split as the rice expands. Also don't be tempted to overfill the leaves either.
  17. NB: Most prepacked vine leaves come with their stalks attached. If they are tender you can leave them on - tuck them in the leaf or alternatively leave sticking out for a pretty effect. If the stalks are tough then remove them with a pair of scissors.
  18. Place carefully one at a time in a large pot. You can put up to 3 layers in a pot if necessary.
  19. Place a large plate or dish over the top of the vine leaves & gently pour the sauce broth over the top. Cover & cook on medium heat for at least 25 minutes; until the vine leaves are tender.
  20. My family enjoys these hot or room temperature drizzled with lemon / lime juice & good quality olive oil. They are really good served as an appetizer with a selection of dips such as garlic mayo etc.