Dolma Recipe -
Dolma Recipe
  • READY IN hrs


Recipe by  

"Dolma is my all-time favorite Mediterranean dish! This recipe comes from my mother's-mother's family and has never been written down until a year ago. After forty-five minutes of translation and talk between my mother and grandmother, I finally have it down in print!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 12 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the uncooked rice, ground beef, parsley, allspice, pepper and curry powder until well blended.
  2. Pour oil into the bottom of a large pot, and spread to cover. Make a layer of potato slices to cover the bottom of the pan. The dolmas should not be able to touch the bottom of the pan.
  3. Lay the grape leaves out flat on a cutting board. Place about a tablespoon of the beef mixture in the center of one leaf. Fold sides in towards the center, then roll up from the bottom loosely. Set in the pot seam side down. Repeat with the remaining mixture and leaves. For large leaves, you may cut them in half at the center vein. Place a heavy dinner plate on top of the dolma to keep them from unraveling. The cooking pot should be about 2/3 full.
  4. Pour tomato sauce and water over the dolma. The liquid should cover them by at least one inch. Adjust the amount of water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.
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  • Note
  • My grandma hollows out all sorts of veggies and packs any leftover meat mix in them, which is added into the layers of dolma, and they are delish! Some to try: cabbage leaves, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes (my fave), zucchini chunks, the list is endless!

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 21, 2006

Isnt it amazing how countries adopt each others recipes? This is a very old Turkish recipe. The word DOLMA is a Turkish word meaning TO FILL or FILLING. The Southern Turkish way of cooking this is, before taking it off the stove, mix the juice of 1 lemon, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and dried mint and pour over the stuffed dolma's(lift the plate off ofcourse) and gently simmer for about 2 more minutes. Dolma can also be prepared using the same ingredients but with cabbage leaves or hollowed out marrow. My favourite is the stuffed very small capsicums, usually found in Turkish or Middle Eastern grocery stores. I hope you enjoy this recipe as my family always does. TIP: Turkish people also serve this meal with garlick yoghurt (Mix a little crushed garlick with plain yoghurt).

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 10, 2007

I followed this recipe to the letter. I needed more water and more tomato sauce than suggested. About double the quantities of each. I think the amount of rice used was too much, too. As far as rolling the grape leaf, place the cut stem end toward you and the tip away from you. Roll away from you first, then fold the sides in, and finally finish up the dolma by rolling away from you. The tip will rest like a croissant tip: wrapped over and close. Also, remember that you need to make room for rice expansion. I suggest starting out the roll with a chopstick. When you are ready to fold the sides in, take the chopstick out, or whatever you use, out and then finish up the roll. I think by decreasing the amount of rice, the taste will be less diluted. It was pretty bland.


18 Ratings

Nov 13, 2005

This traditional Turkish recipe (dolma = filling in Turkish) can be prepared in many different ways. It can be really time consuming to prepare the dolma rolls if this is your first few times. In Turkey people use a very simple $2 tool that can roll it perfectly in just a few seconds. Dolma can also be prepared using the same ingredients but with cabbage leaves. Or you can stuff tomatoes or baby-capsicums and oven bake them in the sauce (make sure they don't dry). If you like to try different tastes you can add baby sultanas or blackpepper seeds into the mixture. You can give it a try.

Mar 29, 2007

In Azerbaijan Republic we use mutton instead of beef. Beef is pretty much teasteless and dry. Use mutton instead, it's a very delicious meal on the table of every family in Azerbaijan. Don't bother with tomatoes and tomatoe sauce. This is the first time I hear of someone using it, probably made up. For 1 pound of mutton, use 1 cup of rice only. Otherwise it will kill the teaste of meat. When everything is ready to be placed on the bottom of the dish you cooking in, place a plate on top and press it down. Then pour 3 cups of water. By the time it starts to simmer, remove the plate, but carefully as it's hot. If you can find fresh grape leaves that's even better. Boil them in water and use as described. Canned is fine too but the taste is not as good once cooked.

Feb 06, 2007

Even my picky eaters liked this recipe. I only used 2 cups rice, but 4 cups water, just because usually uncooked rice usually needs double the water of the amount of raw rice. We thought it turned out great. It wasn't dry at all.

Aug 13, 2004

I have to agree that this is one of the most fabulous Mediterranean-style dishes that I have ever had. Absolutely delicious. Thanks to "MrsReamesNoodle" for providing us with what is sure to become everyone's new favorite. This is truly a great dish.

Nov 22, 2006

I followed the recipe to a T and my dolma were very dry. I've been thinking about what I may have done wrong and maybe it was the 92/8 ground beef I used, maybe I should have used a higher fat content meat. I also used instant rice, so maybe that was a factor. Well, whatever I did, they looked right, they were just dry as the desert. The dolma i've had from restaurants are oily or vinegary and very moist. Also, when it says to put a Tablespoon of filling in each leaf, make sure you don't overfill. The fatter ones were even drier! Skinny is better (like a cigar). Maybe I could had covered all the dolmas with liquid? Use lemon juice as the liquid to make them more tart? They definitely needed tzatziki sauce to dip them in, but I didn't have any so I used ranch dressing (don't shoot me!). Good luck.

Aug 01, 2005

I'm so excited to read such positive reviews, thank you so much! I have since been told this by other family members to add lemon juice to water, or garlic with the spices, or only use olive oil on bottom of pan, etc. I still love it grandma's original way!


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  • Calories
  • 363 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 47.9 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 32 mg
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 13.5 g
  • 21%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 12.3 g
  • 25%
  • Sodium
  • 1216 mg
  • 49%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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