Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves

"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 :"
photo by Um Safia photo by Um Safia
photo by Um Safia
Ready In:
1hr 35mins
50 stuffed vine leaves




  • Vine Leaves:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove from the heat & add the rice, olive oil & water. Set aside.
  • Broth:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stuff & fold your vine leaves:

  • Remove one leaf from the bowl of water & place in the centre of a dinner plate.
  • Place one teaspoon full of filling into the bottom centre of the leaf - as in the photo.
  • Take the left corner of the leaf & fold up to cover the filling.
  • Do the same with the right hand side.
  • Bring in both sides then gently roll up the leaf.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Place carefully one at a time in a large pot. You can put up to 3 layers in a pot if necessary.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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ABOVE: My eldest, Talha with his 'Zaar Star! I'm 29 years old and have been cooking since I was old enough to wield a wooden spoon! My Mum is a fantastic cook and both my Grandmas were great cooks too. I've also had the pleasure of working in two commercial kitchens - one which I ran and the other I was second chef of. You can find me lurking in the NA*ME (North Africa / Middle East) Forum where I am a host: and also in the Cooking for Kids Forum where I am co-host: <style>body { background: url(;background-repeat: repeat; }</style> I am fortunate enough to have 2 children of my own now and enjoy cooking with my eldest who is almost 8 years old. My daughter is almost 3 & has now started joining me in the kitchen & 'helping'. She likes to stand on a chair next to me, give instructions & stir. We eat food from all over the world but my husband prefers it like 'mama used to make' or in his case ''like yemma makes it'' as he is Algerian! We are currently living in the UK after living in Algeria for a while. You will notice that I have posted quite a few Algerian classics. If I had the time and the money, I would spend all day every day trying new recipes! My husband has a 'recipe score' which is this: 1: "Add it to your recipe book - I loved it and wanna eat this again soon!" 2: "Interesting....I will enjoy eating this again." 3: "I cleared my plate but don't expect me to eat this again...ever." However, I rate 'Zaar recipes the by the 'Zaar standard, so don't worry. Oh and fyi, I have a problem being negative so will probably NEVER give a rating less that 4*!!! Other than cooking, I love anything arty-crafty and enjoy painting when I get the chance, which is rarely these days. I used to sell a lot of my creations and do things to order but just don't have the time at the moment. I have a passion for gardening almost as strong as that for cooking. I tend to have 90% of it in pots though as I can't bear to leave it behind when we move - therefore we don't have a lot of stuff that we'd like to have as it wouldn't like being confined to a pot! I take great pride in my garden and love the summer months (the few that we get in the UK) when we can eat outside... and being a typical man, my husband likes any excuse to get the BBQ going - enough said! By the way; I'm on a mission to re-educate people about soaking cous cous for use in North African recipes.,,just so you all is traditionally STEAMED & not soaked! Most of the North African recipes I have have been taught to me by my mother in law, sisters in law etc. A few have come from very old cookbooks. It has taken me a long time to get the dishes into some kind of recipe form as basically we "eyeball" the majority of the ingredients. Bear with me whilst I try to get the rest of the recipes in order!... On a personal note, I abhor the mistreatment of animals and have taken care of many abandoned or injured animals over the years. Similarily, I love to help children and that is why my husband and I are in the process of becoming foster carers. I have a thing about being polite and having good manners - they don't cost anything after all. Something that bugs me is when you hold a door open for someone and they don't even acknowledge you or if you need to go through a door and they won't hold it for you but let it slap you in the face! I think we should all smile more - myself included.... <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a> 2007 Events: <a href="¤t=SassyBanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"> 2008 - Events: <a href="¤t=newtaginethbanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=Swap14.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=thetassiedevilsbanner.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <a href="¤t=kumquats3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ZWT4ChallengeHostBanner.gif" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ZWTPlayerBanner.gif" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=ramadanrecipetagbanner-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <a href="¤t=CookingSchoolHost1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> 2009- Events: <img src=""> <a href="¤t=rrtplayersbanner09-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
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