Yalanci Dolma

peasant dish of Turkey

 

Yalanci Dolma
ingredients

Appetizer servings: 8 to 12

Vine leaves
3 dozen

Olive oil
6 centiliters or 1/4 cup

Chopped white onions
15 centiliters or 2/3 cup

Long grain white rice
25 centiliters or 1 cup

Pine nuts
8 centiliters or 1/3 cup

Chopped raisins
30 milliliters or 2 tablespoons

Crumbled dried mint
15 milliliters or 1 tablespoon

Ground dried oregano
2 milliliters or 1/2 teaspoon

Salt (or to taste)
2 milliliters or 1/2 teaspoon

Cinnamon
1 milliliter or 1/4 teaspoon

Ground black pepper
1 milliliter or 1/4 teaspoon

Lemon juice
6 centiliters or 1/4 cup

Boiling water
35 centiliters or 1 1/2 cups

Yalanci Dolma
cooking steps

Prepare the vine leaves (see instructions below).

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over low heat. Sauté the onions for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the rice. Stir the mixture frequently for 3 minutes.

Add the pine nuts, raisins, mint, oregano, and salt. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat and wait several minutes before stirring in the cinnamon and pepper.

Construct the dolma, one by one, forming 2 by 5 centiliters (2/3 by 2 inch). First, lay a leaf on the work surface, dull side up and with the stem end facing you. Place a rounded tablespoon of the rice mixture in the center of the leaf. Fashion this mixture into a horizontal (left to right) rectangular mound. Fold the stem end over the rice mixture. Next, fold over the sides of the leaf. Finish making the cylinder by rolling the package away from you. Expect to make about twenty dolma.

Line the bottom of a large, thick, wide, and flat-bottomed sauté (or other shallow, straight-sided) pan with a single layer of the unused vine leaves.

Place the dolma seam side down in the pan in neat, semitight rows.

Pour the lemon juice evenly over the dolma. Next, pour the 35 centiliters or 1 1/2 cups of freshly boiled water over the dolma.

Weight the dolma down with a heavy, heat-proof, flat plate that just fits into the pan. This helps prevent the dolma from losing their symmetrical shape as they cook.

Bring the preparation to a simmer over low to moderate heat. Cover the pan and gently simmer the dolma for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

Turn off the heat, remove the lid and plate, and let the preparation come to room temperature. The rice should absorb the excess liquid as it cools. If not, drain off the remaining liquid.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. In the former case, refrigerate the dolma for at least 1 hour. If you transfer the dolma from the pan to a serving platter, be careful not to rip the leaves.

 

 

Photo by Mauro Cateb - CC BY-SA 3.0