Turkish Stuffed Vine Leaves, Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarma/dolm

  • Turkish Stuffed Vine Leaves, Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarma/dolm
Ranked: 200th

Rated 4.75 out of 5 based on 8 votes


  • 33 x vine leaves in brine
  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tbls pine nuts
  • 1 Tbls dried currants
  • 1/2 Tbls dried spearmint
  • 2 Tbls flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), chopped finely
  • 1 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 1 x lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn freshly ground black pepper


• Place the vine leaves in a large bowl and fill it up with hot water. Soak them for 20 minutes.
• To make the filling; place the rice, onion, oil, parsley, mint, pine nuts, currants, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
• Remove the leaves and squeeze any excess water out, cut off any stems –some leaves come with stems still attached and some don’t. Reserve 3 leaves to line the saucepan.
• Get yourself 2 large flat plates; one for the rolling process and the other one for rolled ones. I actually don’t like to work on a chopping board as it is messier that way.
• Lay a leaf glossy/smoother side down on the plate –stalk end should be at the top. Place 1 tbsp of filling at the base of the split and spread the filling, making sure that it is a long line, not a fat and short one. Fold the tops over the filling –they should overlap a little–then the left and right sides into the middle. Roll firmly towards the tip. Pop it onto the other plate and repeat with the remaining filling and leaves.
• Judging by the number of stuffed leaves; choose the right size of a heavy-based, stainless steel saucepan. Mine was 18cm in diameter. Line the bottom of it with the reserved vine leaves. Drizzle with a little bit of oil. Pack the dolmas tightly in one layer and then another. Boil some water, pour it over the dolmas and cover with an inverted plate although I used 2 saucers as my breakfast plates are a little big for the job. The reason for this is that you need enough water to cook the rice in the filling but once it starts boiling dolmas start to float around. To make things worse, it doesn’t matter how tightly they are wrapped, they release their content into the water.
• Put the lid on and bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until all that water is absorbed and the rice is cooked thoroughly.
• Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice over and set aside to cool. Remove the dolmas with fork and spoon once they are cool. Arrange them on a serving plate and serve cold with lemon slices.

Note: Any unused leaves should be stored in brine in the fridge. Depending on the salt content they last for quite some time until you are brave enough to make another batch of stuffed vine leaves.

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  • Ahhh, I remember: I actually never liked this much — and when I turned vegan, I started to like it … and now I love it! I missed one star, sorry … the submit was quicker than me. Ups, why did I missed a star? You should have all 5 of course — unfortunately I can’t change that anymore.


    by Angela H. on 28/08/2013, 17:17
    Angela H.
    • I’ve brought up with it and I’d like to try different varieties from different regions. I happen to have a lot regional recipes in my archive. Will keep you posted Angela :)


      by A. Gulden on 30/03/2014, 06:44
      A. Gulden
  • I did this with nasturtium leaves as I don’t have any grapes growing yet (a future project when I have a pergola to grow them on) and the effect was quite pleasing as an entree. Working with the garden fresh leaves was a challenge lol


    by Helen Minns on 29/08/2013, 18:26
    Helen Minns
    • That sounds interesting Helen. I suppose anything that has the wrapping ability would work. Thank you for stopping by Helen :)


      by A. Gulden on 30/03/2014, 06:42
      A. Gulden
  • Love them!


    by Emma Smith on 25/03/2014, 15:21
    Emma Smith
    • Don’t we all? I finally have a recipe which works in Australia.


      by A. Gulden on 30/03/2014, 06:40
      A. Gulden
  • This is a Turkish recipe :)


    by Nesrin Akkus on 25/03/2014, 15:47
    Nesrin Akkus
    • It sure is :)


      by A. Gulden on 30/03/2014, 06:39
      A. Gulden