Make your own stuffed grape leaves (Dolmathakia)

Here’s a recipe for stuffed grape leaves, also known as Dolma:


For the cooking liquid:

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Rinse the grape leaves under cold water to remove any brine or excess salt. Place them in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow them to soak for about 15-20 minutes to soften.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, chopped parsley, mint, dill, pine nuts (if using), onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Drain the grape leaves and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
  4. Take one grape leaf and place it flat on a clean surface. Remove the stem if it’s still attached. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the rice mixture onto the center of the leaf, near the stem end.
  5. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling, then fold the sides inward, and roll it up tightly like a burrito. Repeat this process with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
  6. Line the bottom of a large pot with a few unused grape leaves to prevent the stuffed grape leaves from sticking to the pot.
  7. Arrange the stuffed grape leaves in the pot, seam side down, in a single layer. Place them snugly together to prevent them from unraveling during cooking.
  8. Prepare the cooking liquid by combining the vegetable or chicken broth with the lemon juice. Pour the liquid over the stuffed grape leaves until they are fully submerged.
  9. Place a heat-resistant plate or a smaller pot lid upside down on top of the stuffed grape leaves. This will help keep them in place while cooking.
  10. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the grape leaves simmer gently for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the rice is cooked and tender.
  11. Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let the stuffed grape leaves cool down slightly before serving.
  12. Serve the stuffed grape leaves warm or at room temperature as an appetizer or part of a meze platter. You can garnish them with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with tzatziki sauce or plain yogurt on the side.

Enjoy your homemade stuffed grape leaves!

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