Stuffed Vine Leaves
Stuffed vine leaves is a dish that has many names – Dolma, Tolma, Dolmades, Mahshi, Yaprak, Sarma, Warak enab… The stuffing varies from region to region. This is a typical vegetarian version.


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  Serves:  20       Print   


  • 20-25 vine leaves (see notes below)
  • 100 g (3½ oz) long grain rice
  • 80 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. If your vine leaves come packed in salt water you should soak them in a large quantity of fresh water for at least 10 minutes. If they are fresh you should blanche them before use by placing them in a pan, pouring on boiling water and leaving them for 5 minutes.
  2. Put 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions (both lots) and sauté them for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat. Add in the rice, pine nuts and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix and leave to cool.
  4. Lay a vine leaf out flat, ribbed side up. Place about 1-2 tbsp of stuffing mixture in the middle of the leaf.
  5. To roll the leaf, fold up the two sides and then roll from the bottom. Don’t roll too tightly! Place seam-side down on a plate.
  6. Arrange the parcels reasonably tightly in a pan with a lid. Pour on the lemon juice, the remaining olive oil, and enough water to almost cover the parcels.
  7. Place a plate on top of the parcels and bring the water to the boil. Turn the heat down as low as you can, cover and simmer gently for about an hour.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Serve when cold.
Titli's Tips
Serve with lemon wedges. I much prefer this method of making stuffed vine leaves to versions which start with cooked rice. The taste difference is significant!

If there is a hole in one of your vine leaves simply tear a strip from another leaf and place it over the gap before you place the mixture on the leaf.

These can be baked in an oven. Place in a pan and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Bake at 180°C for about an hour.

If you want you can also stuff the leaves with a mixture of cooked mince meat and rice, and add in other ingredients such as garlic, feta cheese or tomato paste. Some cultures even stuff cabbage leaves instead of vine leaves. Whatever your choice of fillling… enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Calories 60 3%
Calories from Fat 38
Total Fat 4.3g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Unsaturated Fat 3.5g
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 5.0g 1%
Dietary Fibre 0.3g 1%
Sugars 0.4g
Protein 0.6g 1%
Cholesterol 0.0mgs 0%
Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.