Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
Onions are great for stuffing in the winter in place of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
- 8 large onions
- 12 ounces ground veal (or a combination of the two) or 12 ounces ground lamb (or a combination of the two)
- 2 ounces short-grain rice (optional)
- 2 ounces butter, melted
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus a pinch more for the yogurt)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon purple basil, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped (optional)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth or 1 cup water
- 3 saffron strands (optional)
- 4 ounces yogurt
- Peel the onions and slice 1/4 inch off the top (save as a lid); use a small paring knife to trim the centers out of the onions (leave 3 or 4 layers intact).
- Mince half of the onion centers that were removed and mix into the meat (the remainder of the removed onion can be saved for another recipe).
- If using rice, boil it in salted water for about 10 minutes.
- Begin browning the meat in butter; add rice if using.
- Also add cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, chopped herbs (if using) to the meat mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes; remove from heat and let cool.
- Stuff onions with filling and pack tightly into a pan so that they keep their shape and don't spill their filling; replace onion tops.
- Add broth until it comes less than halfway up the sides of the onions (or use water flavored with the saffron); cover pan and simmer until the onions are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Add a sprinkling of cinnamon to the yogurt.
- Serve the dolmas with the yogurt and any pan juices.