Stuffed Vine Leaves - Authentic Turkish Dolma Recipe

Recipe by Cenk Sonmezsoy
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
YIELD: 40 dolmas




  • Dice the onions and sauté with 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  • When they turn translucent, add the pine nuts and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  • Add rice and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes until the rice is translucent.
  • Add the spices (dried mint, cinnamon, lemon salt, black pepper, dried currants, sugar and allspice) and chopped parsley.
  • After another quick stir, add 1/2 cup of boiling water and simmer on low medium heat for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice mixture.
  • Take off heat and let cool.
  • And now, here comes the fun part. Traditionally, you would put a spoonful of the cooled mixture in the center of the top part of the leaf, fold the sides inwards and then roll the leaf like a cylinder. But since I have “The Ultimate Dolma Machine” (follow the link mentioned in the description section), I just placed a leaf on the rubber compartment of the machine, put a tbps of mixture in the middle and with a single slide, there comes my dolma from the other side of the machine. The process was a breeze. It took me only 10 minutes to roll nearly 40 perfectly shaped dolmas. Below is the process fully photographed.
  • As the final step, spread a layer of vine leaves on the bottom of a large and heavy pot (to prevent the stuffed leaves from burning).
  • Lay all your dolmas side by side and tuck very tightly.
  • Transfer the remaining 1/4 cups of olive oil, juice of half a lemon and 2 cups of boiling water, cover with a plate upside down (so that the dolmas don’t move around in boiling water) and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until all the water is absorbed (roughly 45-60 minutes).
  • Transfer to your serving dish and let cool.