Lebanese Grape Leaves

Recipe by CathyV.com
READY IN: 2hrs 16mins




  • Place rice in a medium sized bowl and cover with 3 cups of cold water.
  • Let stand for 30-60 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse grape leaves in a colander.
  • Cut leaves in half removing the thick center stem.
  • Save five or six large leaves for bottom of pan- discard any extremely tough or ragged leaves.
  • Drain all water from rice.
  • Add lamb, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Mix by hand thoroughly.
  • Line bottom of large kettle or dutch oven with five or six large leaves to prevent scorching.
  • Lay a leaf flat on a plate, shiny side down.
  • Put approximately 1 heaping teaspoon of meat mixture towards bottom of leaf.
  • Roll in one edge to seal, then roll leaf up firmly but not too tight (you need to leave a little room for the rice to expand while cooking).
  • Place leaves in kettle in circular fashion leaving a small circle in the center for water to circulate.
  • When you have one full row on bottom of pan, slice two cloves of garlic over the top of the leaves.
  • Sprinkle with a little of the mint.
  • Continue rolling the leaves and layering them with the garlic/ mint.
  • You should have approximately five rows of leaves when you are done.
  • Place a heatproof plate over the top of the leaves- large enough to hold them in place, but with a little room on the edges.
  • Put a bowl on top of the plate filled with water to hold the plate down while cooking.
  • Fill kettle with water over the top of the plate.
  • Cook on top of stove on high heat until it begins to boil.
  • Lower heat to medium so that water does not boil over and continue cooking.
  • Total cooking time after it starts to boil is 16-19 minutes.
  • Remove bowl.
  • Carefully drain water from kettle.
  • Remove plate.
  • Arrange leaves on a platter.
  • Serve with lemon wedges.