‘Stuffed Grape Leaves’ or ‘Barg Mo Dolmeh’ is one of the most popular dishes in Persian, Turkish, and Mediterranean cuisine. Dolmeh represents several stuffed dishes that date back to the Ottoman Empire. People of many countries, including Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Lebanon, Romania, Syria, and Egypt, cook this dish. However, in 2017 it was registered as Azerbaijan’s intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The rich cultural heritage of Dolmeh that expands over centuries and conquers the palate of multiple countries makes it an impeccable choice for formal dinners or family gatherings. If you don’t already know how to make Stuffed Grape Leaves, then you have come to the right place. Here is the step-by-step recipe for Grape Leaves Dolmeh.
Other Dolma recipes:
Ingredients for Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Grape Leaves: 1 kilogram
- Minced Meat: 500 grams
- Rice: 2 cups
- Wheat Groats: 1 cup
- Split Peas: 1 cup
- Yogurt: ½ cup
- Vegetables (Scallion, Coriander, Fresh Chives, Savory, and Dill): 800 grams
- Fried Onions: Make as much as you like based on your palate
- Minced Garlic: 5 pieces
- Salt and Pepper
- Water or Chicken Stock: 2 glasses
- Sour Grapes: Add as much as you like based on your palate
Note1: Make sure to use fresh, light-green, and small-sized grape leaves if you want your Dolmeh to have a beautiful shape and delicate taste. Keep in mind that the smaller the size of your Dolmeh, the better and more presentable they will become. Therefore, if you want to serve Dolma at a formal dinner or special gathering, make sure to wrap them as small as possible.
Note2: If you don’t have access to fresh Grape Leaves because they might be off-season, you can use Pickled Grape Leaves. Pickled Grape Leaves are a bit salty and sour. But the most efficient way to have access to Grape Leaves at all times is to store them in your fridge while they are in season. To do so, you need to boil them in hot salty water to become tender. Then, you need to drain the extra water from the leaves. Now you can easily store them in your refrigerator and use them whenever you want to make Dolmeh.
Ingredients for the Garnish
- Fried Onions
- Peppermint and Basil
- Yogurt or Shallot Yogurt
- Sliced Almonds and Pistachios
- Plum Tomatoes
If you have all the ingredients ready, let’s start cooking! Here’s the recipe for Barg Mo Dolma:
Dolmeh Barg Mo recipe
- Rinse rice and wheat groats for 2 hours.
- Cook the split peas unless they have a soft texture.
- Wash the vegetables and chop them into small pieces.
- Cut the grape leaves’ stalks to create a better shape for the leaves. Without the stalks attached to the grape leaves, you can easily wrap them.
- Fry the onions. Add the minced meat and continue to stir till the meat is cooked.
- When the meat is perfectly cooked, add the rice, wheat groats, split peas, vegetables, and spices to the mixture and continue to stir in a hot pan for about 3 or 4 minutes.
- When all the ingredients are perfectly cooked and mixed, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool off. It is now time to add yogurt and fresh shallots.
- Your stuffing is now ready! Here comes the most interesting part: the wrapping process. Place one grape leaf at the palm of your hand and add one spoon of the stuffing to it and start wrapping. The wrapping process is the most significant part of the dish. Try to wrap the Dolmeh as beautifully as possible, almost as if you are creating a work of art.
- Place a steel container at the bottom of the pot. Put the Dolmeh one by one in the container, starting from the sides to the center, in a circular pattern.
- You can put sour grapes in between the Dolmeh to add an extra citrusy taste.
- Once you have placed the Dolmeh in the pot, add water or chicken stock.
- Heat the pot till the water starts boiling. When the pot starts boiling, close the lid, and leave the Dolmeh on moderate heat to cook for one and a half hours.
- An hour and a half later, open the pot and taste one Dolmeh. If the stuffing is undercooked, leave it on moderate heat longer for the Dolmeh to cook perfectly.
- Your Dolmeh is now ready. You can garnish them with plum tomatoes and peppermint leaves.
Note3: There are two ways to wrap up Barg Mo Dolmeh. You can either wrap them as rolls or as bags.
Note4: Some people like to serve Barg Mo Dolmeh sweet. If you prefer sweet Dolmeh to the sour and salty ones, you can make a type of syrup by adding sugar and vinegar to 500 milligrams of water and letting it boil and reduce. Once you have a thick mixture, you can pour it on the Dolmeh in the pot and let it cook for a couple of minutes. After 8 to 10 minutes, your Dolmeh is ready to be served. Enjoy!
Other Types of Dolmeh
Barg Mo Dolmeh is only one of the many stuffed dishes in Persian and Turkish cuisine. Stuffed Eggplant is another type of Dolmeh, which if not more, is as delicious as Barg Mo Dolmeh. Stuffed Bell Pepper is also a kind of Dolmeh which, in addition to its unmatched taste, has rich nutritional benefits. Dolmeh, in general, is a highly nutritious dish that can easily create a healthy diet for the entire family.
As we are approaching the Persian New Year, Nowruz, the dishes, which are traditionally served at this time of the year, become even more popular since they bring the memories of happy family gatherings. Follow this recipe and easily make Barg Mo Dolmeh for the New Year’s Eve party!