Persian stuffed grape leaves have become one of my absolute favorite dishes, an absolute must of course when we offer a buffet, for example. You can make them completely vegetarian or vegan, replace the meat with vegetarian options, otherwise you can follow the recipe. It looks more difficult than it is really, it is worth making a lot at one time and freeze!
The best way of making this wonderful dish is to use fresh grape leaves of course – but if you do not have access to that the “pickled” grape leaves will do just fine. If you use the “pickled” grape leaves make sure to rinse them and also cut excess stem with a scissor.
I divide the leaves on a tray by the size, it makes life easier when I want to wrap the grape leaves.
The coarse side of the leave should always face upwards. Cooking time can vary depending on the quality of the grape leaves. They should just melt in your mouth when they are done.
Ingredients for 60 pcs
500 grams of ground turkey meat (you can use other meats such as beef, lamb etc. –
but it should not contain too much fat)!
1 large onion
1 1/2 dl basmati rice
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves
150 grams of chopped coriander
150 grams of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon ground (limo omani) dried Persian lime
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 of a teaspoon black pepper
1/4 dl lemon juice
1 dl oil
3 dl water
Grape leaves 1 – 2 cans or own harvest!
Flavor or Chashni as it is called in Persian (Farsi)
1 part of lemon juice
1 dl sugar
1 dl of water
- Grate the onion on the coarse side of the grater, set aside.
- Measure all ingredients and set aside.
- Mix, salt, pepper, turmeric, dried lime powder and set aside.
- Rinse the rice 7 times before cooking it until soft with some salt, drain and set aside to cool.
- Fry the meat with the onion, when the meat has got a little color you add half of the seasoning mixture and mix well.
- Pour over the meat in a spacious pan, add the herbs, remaining seasoning, and lemon juice. Put the lid on and let simmer on medium heat for 5 – 6 minutes.
- After 5 – 6 minutes you add the rice and mix well, set aside to cool so that it is easy to handle when you want to wrap the grape leaves.
- Put some “good” layers of grape leaves at the bottom of a pan – this is to prevent the stuffed grape leaves to be burned.
- Put one large or two smaller grape leaves on an aluminum foil with the coarse side facing you – put on a tablespoon of filling and roll upwards and tighten. Fold over the sides and continue to roll upwards until done. Put them aside or directly into the pan with the layers of grape leaves.
- Pack the rolls tight in layers in the pan, cover it with some layers of leftover grape leaves.
- Pour over the oil and water.
- Put a plate as large as the pan on top of the layers of grape leaves, press down gently. Leave the plate in the pan. Put the lid on. Let it simmer on very low heat for about an hour.
- Add the chashni (flavor) after one hour and let it simmer for additional 30 minutes.
- The grape leaves have to soften! You might need to prolong the time depending on the grape leaves you use.The stuffed grape leaves should just melt in your mouth, so – taste one after one and a half hour and check! Let it simmer for a longer time if it is needed!
Can be served warm or cold.