Aromatic Stuffed Vine Leaves: Recipe

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.

aromatic stuffed vine leaves recipe

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



  1. Boil enough water to cover all of the vine leaves.
  2. Soak the vine leaves in the water for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, quinoa, coriander, cumin, ginger, paprika, parsley, mint, cinnamon, ground cloves, onion and garlic.
  4. Drain the vine leaves.
  5. Generously oil a large heavy based pot with olive oil.
  6. Take one vine leaf and place it on a flat surface with the stalk facing towards you.
  7. If the stalk looks a little tough, remove the end.
  8. 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.
  9. Place the vine leaf parcels in the base of the saucepan.
  10. Pour the tomato puree and water into the saucepan.
  11. 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.
  12. To serve, place the parcels onto a plate. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil.

aromatic stuffed vine leaves recipe


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.

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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