Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Cypriot dolma or stuffed vine recipe

A traditional Cypriot recipe which is made with vine leaves, from which the stems have been removed, however, the filling can also be used to stuff vegetables such as capsicums, tomatoes, onions or cabbage leaves. Vine leaves are best collected when they are nice and tender in May/June but can be frozen or stored in brine for use throughout the year. 

The following recipe requires approximately 60 vine leaves; 500g of beef or lamb mince, a medium sized onion; 2 cups of rice; olive oil, a lemon; a small bunch of fresh mint or if unavailable dried; 5-6 tomatoes or a tin of tomatoes; cinnamon; salt and pepper.

1. Wash the freshly picked vine leaves and put into a pot of boiling water for about five minutes and then straight into cold water.

2. Peel and chop the onion finely and chop the tomatoes finely. Place the onions and tomatoes into a bowl and add the mince and rice. Add the juice of a lemon, a little olive oil, finely chopped mint, a pinch of cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. 

3. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and add a little water if needed.

4. Place a leaf on a large plate and add about two tablespoons of the mixture and fold the left and right sides over and roll the leaf tightly. Place in an oiled pan and repeat till all the mixture is used. 

5. Cover the top with vine leaves, place a plate on top and a weight (usually a stone) to keep the dolmas submerged and in place.

6. Cover with boiling water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 75 minutes on a low heat.

7. Allow to stand for about 45 minutes and serve with a fresh salad.

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