Dolmeh (Dolma,دلمه) is Persian stuffed food. Dolmeh is a Turkish term that means stuffed. Usually, the word Dolmeh symbolizes with stuffed grape leaves in Iranians’ minds. Dolmeh was originated in Osmani cuisine at Topkapi Palace. However, Iranian chefs at Nasereddin Shah Qajar time added to the variety of that. Qajar chefs invented stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage, and stuffed peppers. Depending on the type of Dolma, Iranians serve it as the main course or appetizer. They usually serve it with bread and particularly Lavash bread. In this article, we are going to describe grape leave’s Dolmeh (دلمه برگ مو). Best grape leave Dolmah is from Tabriz, a Turkish city of Iran. Therefore, we will describe the Tabrizian dolma.
What are the ingredients of Dolmeh?
The ingredients include herbs such as leek, scallion, dill, and savory. Other components are onion, garlic, vegetable oil, clarified oil, split chickpeas, yogurt, bulgur, rice, and spices. The spices you add to the food are essential and include rose, turmeric, caraway seed, ginger, black pepper, salt, and saffron. The primary ingredient is grape leaves since we are going to put all other ingredients inside the leaves.
Dolma Cooking process:
To cook Dolmeh, you should first dice and fry the onion in vegetable oil. Then you add all the grind spices to onions. If you are going to add ground meat, you should saute them with onions. You can skip adding rose here and add it at the end. You need to cook split chickpeas separately and add them to the combination. washing herbs and chopping them in so tiny is necessory. After the herbs chopped, add them to the combination. Then add bulgur, washed rice, and yogurt. Taste your mixture and add salt to your taste. Mix the ingredients well and let them rest for some time. The canned grape leaves should be washed and dried as well. After the stuffing becomes more refreshing and grape leaves are dried. Put the filling in one container and the leaves in another. Put one tablespoon of filling in one grape leaf and wrap it well to make a maximum 2-inch square shape. Place the Dolmeh in a pot. Continue this process until the filling and leaves are finished. Place your Dolmas in a neat, organized manner in layers and on top of each other. At last, you should put a revised plate on top and add hot water. You need to cook them for 1.5 hours on low heat.
Different types of Dolmeh:
There are lots of different kinds of Dolmeh depend on the vegetables we use to stuff and the stuffings. Eggplant Dolmeh, bell pepper dolmeh, cabbage Dolma and Zucchini Dolma are the most popular stuffed vegetables in Persian cuisine. There is only one type of grape leaves Dolmeh. The ingredients and cooking process is stable, but you may see different kinds of wrappings.
Nutrition facts of Dolmeh:
Grape leaves’ Dolmeh has 134 kcal per 100gr. You should add the calorie of bread while eating. It contains a notable amount of 19 gr Carbohydrates and 71 gr water, most vitamins including A, C, E, and all vitamin B types as well. Dolma is an excellent source of potassium with 202 mg and sodium with 400 mg and phosphor with 64 mg per 100gr. It also contains lots of other useful minerals for the body.
Typically, grape leaves Dolmeh is vegetarian food. However, some people add ground meat and clarified fat to it. You can omit those ingredients and cook it with vegetable oil. The only critical point is that you should prepare a vegetarian yogurt, but you should pay attention that, you should distill yogurt and not juicy.
Serving style of Dolmeh:
To serve Dolmeh, you need to place them carefully in a dish to prevent falling apart. Then you should prepare a topping made out of chopped walnuts, barberries, chopped tomatoes, and fried onions sauteed in butter. Iranians usually serve Dolmeh with bread. Particularly Lavash and Sangak. A small bowl of yogurt and a dish of fresh garlic can best accompany Dolmeh sandwiches. Every drink is welcomed next to Dolmeh. However, if you ask my opinion, I think a cup of black tea best completes the Dolma eating journey.
This recipe is adequate for five people as the main course. It can be sufficient for up to 12 people as an appetizer. The preparation time is about 1 hour. And the cooking time is about 1.5 hours. You need to choose a proper pot size-wisely. Prepare bread to serve Dolmeh with it.
- 1 small onion
- ½ small garlic
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup clarified butter
- ⅓ cup split chickpeas
- 1 cup of rice
- ⅓ cup bulgur
- 1¼ lb herbs including¼ lb scallion,¼ lb savory, ¼ lb dill and ½ lb leeks
- ½ cup greek yoghourt
- 1 lb grape leaves
- ½ tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon liquid saffron
- 1½ tablespoon rose
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon caraway seed
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- Salt as needed
- 1 cup of hot water
- ½ cup ground beef (optional)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup barberries
- ½ fried sliced onions
- ½ cup diced firm tomatoes
- Dice the onions and fry them with oil
- Add all the spices to the onion
- Add and cook ground beef here
- Pout the mixture to a bowl
- Cook split chickpeas separately with some water
- Add cooked and softened split chickpeas to the mixture
- Wash, dry and chop the herbs as tiny as possible
- Add herbs
- Add bulgur and washed rice
- Add yoghourt
- Taste the composition and add salt to your favour
- Let it rest for some time
- Wash and dry the leaves (be careful not to tear them apart)
- Put 1 tablespoon of stuffing in one leaf and wrap it
- Place the wrapped leaves in the pot carefully to avoid falling apart
- Continue step 13 & 14 until the stuffing finishes
- Add a cup of hot water
- Place a revised plate on top of Dolmehs
- Put the lid on and cook them on a shallow heat for 1.5 hours
- Saute walnuts, barberries, tomatoes and fried onions in some butter and make the garnish
- Place Dolmehs in a dish and pour the garnish on them
- Serve it with bread and yoghourt and fresh garlic
- Cover the bottom of the pot with an aluminum foil
- Let the stuffing rest for 5 or 6 hours to avoid cracking in Dolmeh
- Make 2-inch square shapes while wrapping
- Try to wrap all of them equally