Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves

READY IN: 1hr 35mins




  • 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.