Dolmades are vine leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice. There are a few different kind of dolmades depending on the region. The most common in Greece is that with the Avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce. In other regions, including Cyprus, they add tomato and cinnamon. During Lent we make them vegan, only with rice and they are called yialantzi.
Instead of adding water to cook them, if you have homemade vegetable, chicken or turkey stock it’s a great addition as it adds lots of flavour to the dolmades.
I always use fresh vine leaves which I buy during Spring when they are very tender and preserve them in the deep freezer, so that I may have some all year round.
Dolmades gialantzi (mostly) are sold in cans and pleaaaase do not buy them. They are terrible, nothing like the homemade ones.
Dolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed vine leaves)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 70 fresh or frozen or preserved vine leaves
- 1 kilo ground pork or beef (I prefer pork)
- 1/2 cup of rice preferably Carolina or other short grain rice
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of dried mint
- Salt and pepper
- Water or stock
Wash the vine leaves thoroughly and then boil them for 5 minutes. Cool them in cold water and strain them.
In a bowl put the ground meat, the rice, the onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, as well as half the oil and mix well.
Put a leaf on a plate, vein side facing up, and put about a tablespoon of the mixture near the stem. Make sure to remove the stem. (The amount of the filling will depend on the size of the leaf).
- Neatly fold left edge and then right edge and then roll all the way. Wrap up into a cigar shape (don’t fold too tight as the rice will expand during cooking). Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
- Place neatly in the saucepan starting from the edge to the centre. Second and third layers may be placed on top, then cover with the plate (which must be exactly the size of the pan). This is done so that when the dolmades are boiling they will not open.
- Add the remaining oil (only if there is not fat in the meat) and water or stock to cover them. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 30 minutes.
- Let them cool for a while and then pour over the avgolemono sauce and tilt the pot until it goes everywhere.
For the avgolemono (egg and lemon) sauce
- 3 eggs
- the juice of two lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup of the hot broth
- 1 tablespoon of corn flour (cornstarch) optional
See step-by-step instructions here.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Other related Recipes:
How to preserve vine leaves
Kremmydia Gemista (Stuffed Onions)
Koupepia me Lahana and not Lahanodolmades
Dolmades Gialantzi (vegan)
Dolmades with Sardines and Black Couscous
Dolmades with Cod
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,