Turkish dolma recipe is one of the famous courses in Turkish cuisine. To make dolma, grape leaves are mostly used but other vegetables also can be used. You can find everything about Turkish dolma in this post.
What is dolma?
Turkish dolma is made by preparation of various vegetables such as dolma grape leaves by wrapping them with a mixture of minced meat, rice or bulgur, onions, parsley, tomato paste, tomatoes, spices and adding oil and water. The word dolma comes from the verb “dolmak” in Turkish and its meaning is to be filled.
Some leaf vegetables, such as vine leaves and cabbage, are boiled in boiling water for a few minutes and wrapped after being softened. Recently, ingredients used in Turkish dolma have also been used raw, especially tomatoes and onions. The reason for this is that tomatoes and onions are cooked in a very short time.
Turkish dolma recipe is quite famous in the middle east, Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Turkish dolma is usually called “sarma” in Turkey. It is especially featured as the crown of guest tables. It tastes different, but its appearance is also appetizing, and attractive. The Turkish dolma can be exhausting to prepare. It takes time to collect, boil, separate one by one, and fill and wrap one by one. It is usually made with olive oil and meat. Although rice is usually placed in it, turkish dolma can sometimes be made with bulgur or lentils. You can take a look at Gourmet 212's lentil stuffed grape leaves to try Turkish dolma stuffed with lentil.
Although it takes a long time to make, it takes a short time to eat. It's so delicious you can't stop eating it and a huge pot-ful can run out in a short time.
Turkish Dolmas vs Greek Dolmades
The cuisines of both Turkey and Greece are rich cuisines that are similar in many ways. This also applies to dolma; both Greek and Turkish dolma often use rice as filling.
The Turkish dolma, known as sarma, usually contains some tomato paste, currants and pine nuts, while the Greek version, known as dolmades, contains different vegetables such as spring onions and dill. In both cuisines, the important point is that the shape of the stuffed grape leaves resembles a cigar. It is not known which cuisine is inspired by the other, but it is one of the famous dishes of both cuisines and is really quite delicious.
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Are Stuffed Grape Leaves Vegetarian?
The answer to this question? It depends entirely on the recipe and the region from which it comes. The Iranian version, known as Dolmeh, is made with meat, rice and split chickpeas. Turkish dolma recipe also varies from region to region. The Turkish dolma recipe, which is popular in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, is vegetarian and does not need any meat. This is called “zeytinyağlı sarma (stuffed grape leaves with olive oil)” and is usually eaten cold. On the other hand, in some regions, Turkish dolma is not made with olive oil and minced meat or meat is put in it. This type of Turkish dolma is usually consumed hot. The turkish dolma recipe we give here is for vegetarian stuffed grape leaves stuffed with rice.
To make this Turkish stuffed recipe, you need the following ingredients:
Grape leaves: you can choose fresh or jar dolma grape leaves if you want to use them for the Turkish dolma recipe. Below we will address the difference of the two under another heading. You can also use Gourmet 212’s grape leaves if you want to use reliable dolma grape leaves.
Olive oil: extra virgin olive oil is best for the recipe of dolma grape leaves. You can use it both to make the stuffing and to sprinkle it over the stuffing while cooking.
Onions: white or yellow onions are usually preferred for the Turkish dolma recipe. Because it is not Greek dolmades, spring onions are not used, and the taste of purple onions is not used because its relish may be too dominant.
Short-grain rice: be sure not to use a long-grain rice variety such as basmati, as it will double when cooked. Short-grain rice, such as Jasmine, is better for putting in dolma grape leaves.
Tomato paste: simple tomato paste is required for the Turkish dolma recipe, not tomato sauce or tomato puree.
Cinnamon: used to add some warmth and depth to the filling. Optional.
Dried mint: as in many Mediterranean dishes, dried mint is used in Turkish dolma.
Pine nuts or currants: used to add a different taste to the food. It is optional.
Parsley: adds freshness and flavor to the filling.
Fresh Grape Leaves vs. Jarred Grape Leaves
Dolma grape leaves come in two types: fresh and jarred. Jarred dolma grape leaves are ready to use as they are marinated and blanched. Gourmet212's jarred dolma grape leaves are ideal for this. You can find the link above. If you want to use Mediterranean, fresh grape leaves, you need to blanch them in hot salted water for a few minutes to soften them and make them easier to roll.
Jarred grape leaves are easier to use in Turkish dolma recipe because the leaves are usually large and easy to roll. Also, you don't have to use an closed jar of dolma grape leaves right away, it can stay on the shelf for a long time. It is best to stock up in a few jars as they can be stored for a very long time.
Step by Step Recipe
Making the Filling
Wash the rice, soak in warm water and leave for 30 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Peel and chop the onion. Add the olive oil to the pan and add the onion. After turning a little pink, add the drained rice. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the Peanuts, grapes, salt and spices and mix, then remove from the stove.
Roll the Leaves
Boil and filter the vine leaves in salted boiling water until they turn yellow (if you are using fresh leaves).
In a tray, open the dolma grape leaves one by one. Veined parts should face up. Add the inner material you have prepared to the middle, cover the two sides and wrap in a roll.
Cook the Stuffed Grape Leaves
Place in a saucepan and cover with a plate. You can also add lemon slices. Add 2 cups of warm water and cook over a heavy heat until the water is drained. Leave to cool with the lid closed.
Take the dolmas on a serving plate and drizzle 1 spoon of olive oil over them. Garnish with lemon slices and serve. It goes great with yoghurt.