Dolma is essentially just Vine leaves stuffed with so much goodness from the greens to the grains. It has to be one of my ultimate comfort foods ever since I was younger and when cooking it, it will leave your kitchen smelling incredibly delicious!
Many say that Dolma is a difficult dish to master and so whenever something looks complicated like this I tend to create an easier take on it. The great thing is, after you make it once, you literally learn the skills to it so it won’t be hard the next time. At least, this is how it works for me!
For the recipe I used buckwheat groats and quinoa as a substitute to rice for a much more lighter meal and also won’t leave you so bloated. Buckwheat and Quinoa are both high in protein and fibre which is essential as part of your diet. I also prefer the taste of buckwheat to rice since it has a nutty tone to it and it really brings out the flavour of the other ingredients.
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1 jar vine leaves
1 bunch flat parsley leaves
1 bunch coriander
4 large onions
2 large tomatoes
Juice of 3 lemons
A few mint leaves
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp himalayan salt
Combine the water with quinoa and buckwheat in a small or medium saucepan, and allow the buckwheat/quinoa to be soaked in water for half an hour.
Bring the saucepan with the buckwheat/quinoa to a boil, which should take about 5-8 minutes, turn it down to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until both are cooked.
Finely dice 2 onions and tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Finely chop the parsley, coriander and mint leaves and place into the bowl as well. Add in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, pepper and salt.
Once the quinoa and buckwheat cool down, add them into the large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Pour the leaves from the jar onto a large saucepan and fill enough hot water from the tap to cover the leaves. Put it on the stove, turn it on high and let it heat up for about 3-5 minutes until the leaves look softer.
Drain the hot water and rinse with cold water, and drain again.
Now begin by pouring/drizzling 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium saucepan. Clean the 2 other onions and peel them to form cups. Fill the onions with the mix and place on the base of the saucepan.
Now begin rolling the vine leaves by filling it with the mix.
Place one grape leaf on a flat surface, then add a spoonful of the mix in the centre. Roll the bottom upwards, about half way, then fold the left and right to the middle.
Keep on rolling upwards and place the dolmas over one another until you are done with the vine leaves.
Once your saucepan is full with the dolma, drizzle the top layer with boiling water and place on the stove on medium heat for 2-4 hours. The longer, the tastier!
Serve and enjoy!