Saturday, January 25, 2003

Vine Leaves With Meat Stuffing (Etli Yaprak Sarma)

A delicious Turkish recipe. I have attempted to re-write the badly translated English, but some of it still doesn't quite make sense to me, so good luck. I'd also like to add at this point that the recipe is in the 'Vegetables & Pulses' section of my Turkish cookbook. Ha!

Serves 10

500g vine leaves

500g minced lamb
5 medium onions
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons rice (cooked, I guess)
1/2 pinch each (150g) mint, parsley, dill
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large tomato

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tomatoes (these are mentioned in the instructions, but not the ingredients list, so I am guessing a number, if you think you need more, add them)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 pinch salt (again, this is not actually included in the ingredients list)

1 piece wax paper

Chop the onions. Peel the tomato (see Fish dish below on how to do this) & dice small. Place the rest of the stuffing ingredients in a bowl, add 3/4 cup of water, mix well & set aside.
Boil the vine leaves for 2 minutes in salted water. Take out the leaves separately with a sieve. Divide the leaves in two.
Place a walnut-sized lump of stuffing at the base of each leaf, fold the sides & roll up. Place these (dolmas) in a saucepan in layers.
To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan (different to the one above, obviously). Dice the tomatoes & add to the melted butter with the tomato paste & salt, & stir over heat until the tomatoes soften. Add 2 1/2 cups water & bring to the boil.
Pour the sauce over the dolmas, then cover with wet wax paper. Place a place over the dolmas to weigh them down. Cover & bring to the boil. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes.
Serve with plain or salted yoghurt on the side.

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