Vine leaves are a very common ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They have a subtle, slightly tangy flavour and are a great way to hold together ingredients. This recipe for aromatic stuffed vine leaves puts a modern twist on the classic dolma or sarma. They are low in carbohydrates, gluten free and make a great finger food for parties.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes / Cooking Time: 60 minutes / Serves 4-6
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 generous handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tsp groun cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 320g lamb mince
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 birds eye chillies
- 40 vine leaves
- 240g tomato puree
- 250ml water
- Boil enough water to cover all of the vine leaves.
- Soak the vine leaves in the water for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, quinoa, coriander, cumin, ginger, paprika, parsley, mint, cinnamon, ground cloves, onion and garlic.
- Drain the vine leaves.
- Generously oil a large heavy based pot with olive oil.
- Take one vine leaf and place it on a flat surface with the stalk facing towards you.
- If the stalk looks a little tough, remove the end.
- Place a teaspoon of the mixture near the stalk end. Fold in both sides of the vine leaf and roll the parcel up. Make sure you wrap it tightly.
- Place the vine leaf parcels in the base of the saucepan.
- Pour the tomato puree and water into the saucepan.
- Place a heat resistant plate on top of the vine leaves and simmer on the stove for 1 hour on medium heat or until nearly all the water has been evaporated.
- To serve, place the parcels onto a plate. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil.
If you don’t have or don’t like quinoa, you can use 2.5 cups of medium grain white rice as a substitute.
Kept in the fridge, these are good for up to 5 days. In fact, they even taste good eaten cold.