First of all let me tell you what dolmas are . Dolmas are grape leaves traditionally stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat and then cooked. They are a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialty and are served as appetizers. The vegetarian ones are usually served cold and the ones with meat warm. I prefer them warm and served as a main dish with a tasty sauce on top. If you are vegan you can try a tomato based sauce and if you are vegetarian some sour cream (+ garlic - optional) on top will make these dolmas just perfect.
- 40 -50 grape leaves
- 1 cup brown rice (soaked in water for 1 hour)
- 800 g mushrooms (I used Portobello)
- 1 onion
- 1⁄2 cup parsley (chopped)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- sea salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- For the filling:
- Grind the mushrooms and onion in your food grinder and then set aside (You can use you food processor if you don't have a food grinder).
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat.
- Add the mushroom and onion paste into the saucepan and sauté for another 10 minutes.
- Add the rice (drained) along with an additional 1 cup of water. Stir and let the mixture boil for 10 minutes or until almost all excess liquid is absorbed. It doesn’t need to be cooked, it just has to absorb all of the excess water. Add spices.
- Remove from heat and add chopped parsley. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
- For the wrappers and assembly:.
- Separate the grape leaves and make the rolls adding about 1 Tablespoon of filling into each roll.
- See here how you can make the rolls.
- Take a large pot and line the bottom with some grape leaves.
- Put the assembled rolls in the pan on top of the grape leaves. Arrange them around the pan until the pan is full.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Cover with remaining grape leaves.
- Add water until all rolls are covered.
- Place in oven at 392FËš for 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes and add more water if necessary. 15 minutes before it’s ready, add the tomato paste and finish cooking.
I love dolmas and always prefer brown rice, so I loved this recipe. I couldn't find grape leaves in my area, so I used collard leaves to make some and then just ate the filling plain. It would make a great side dish.