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Dolmas/dolmades/stuffed vine leaves recipe

I thought I made the best ones until I tried the still-warm vineleaves at the Kavouras restaurant.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Greek, Vegetarian
Keyword: Greek Food, Vegetarian, Vine leaves


  • olive oil for cooking and drizzling
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200 g long grain rice, ideally Karolina rice https://hellenicgrocery.co.uk/product/great-karolina-rice-500g-2/
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • sea salt
  • 250ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 150 g feta cheese, chopped
  • 150 g fresh mushrooms, finely chopped to replace cheese for a vegan version
  • handful fresh dill, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 preserved lemons, chopped
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 400 g drained vine leaves or fresh
  • handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


  • Heat the olive oil in a lidded saucepan over a low heat. Cook the onions until soft, add the garlic.
  • Add the rice and spices, cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the hot stock, 1 glass of the wine and lemon juice.
  • Add the cheese or mushrooms and dill
  • By now you should have cooked it for 20 minutes and the rice should be ready, with dimples on the surface and most of the water evaporated. The rice should be slightly al dente.
  • Allow the mixture to cool and add the raisins, pine nuts, pomegranate molasses, preserved lemons, dried mint and fresh parsley.
  • Check seasoning, add salt if neccessary
  • Scald the vine leaves with boiling water for 2 minutes then refresh in cold water.
  • Take a deep frying pan and line with vine leaves.
  • Lay a vine leaf flat with the stem nearest you. Snip off the stem with scissors and put a teaspoon of the rice mixture at the base of the leaf, in the middle. Fold both sides in over the mixture and roll up the leaf from the bottom to the rop to make a sausage shaped roll. it should be moist enough to seal itself.
  • When you reach the small fragile leaves, use two overlapping, like a patchwork.
  • Place the rolled leaves in the frying pan with the seam facing down so that they don't unravel. Line the pan with the dolmas facing inwards in a circle. Repeat until all the leaves are stuffed with the mixture and the pan is full.
  • Place on the heat with a generous glug of olive oil and another glass of white wine. Simmer until cooked. Serve warm with yoghurt and fresh mint.