Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuffed Vine Leaves by Nada

‎1 Ib. fresh tender vine leaves - or vine leaves in brine (jar)
2 cups rice (I use basmati but can use any)
1/2 cup chick peas can either be soaked overnight, or if tinned, just rinsed.
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (or any parsley, but this... is my preference)
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup minced chives
2 cups chopped tomatoes (finely diced, a...lso get them pretty ripe and juicy)
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white ground pepper
1/2 tsp. black ground pepper
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fenugreek
1/8 tsp. crushed cloves (basically the tiniest amount)
1 tomato, sliced (for the cooking pot)
1 small potato, sliced for the pot
2 whole garlic bulbs - sorry devotees, it does taste good! But actually I have made it without and its still tasty
Soften vine leaves by dipping in boiling salted water for a minute. Or if using jar in brine, rinse thoroughly in cold water. Drain and pile in deep dish while preparing stuffing.

Prepare cooking pot: use a deep pot, cover the bottom of it with slices of potato and tomato, and the whole garlic cloves. As you roll each vine leaf, place in this pot. (This gives them starch to hold shape and also stops them burning on bottom of pot)

Stuffing: Wash and drain rice. Crack hummus (which has been soaked overnight if fresh, or rinsed if tinned) with rolling pin and remove skins. Make stuffing of rice, hummus, parsley, mint, chopped tomatoes, spring onions, salt, spices (all of the ones listed above), and oil. Can add more seasonings to taste. I like mine very very peppery but not too much cinnamon as can take over.

Stuff one leaf at a time, use a heaping teaspoon of stuffing for each leaf. Fold bottom of leaf up over stuffing, then fold in from each side toward middle. Roll up like a cigar. Rolls should be about three inches long and the thickness of… your thumb? Although will taste good no matter what! The most important thing is that they are totally rolled up so no rice can escape. Don’t break the leaf while rolling as they will burst when cooking. They will be quite juicy, once you have finished rolling each one, pop it into the pot you’re going to cook it in, giving it a little squeeze over the pan, to firm it up and hold its shape; arrange them side by side in layers in the cooking pot.

Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Add about a cup of water and any of the juices left over from the stuffing mix. Add some more chopped tomatoes/ tomato paste/ passata sauce (the richer the yummier in my opinion) to the pot (this is probably the point where Scott would add marmite but it's NOT traditional!!!) , you want the juices to just lick the top layer of the stuffed leaves. Place a plate on top of the leaves in the pot, this will weigh them down and hold their shape.

Simmer gently for 45 minutes with lid on. Open lid and simmer uncovered until sauce is thickened. Taste sauce. Add more lemon and salt if necessary. Allow to cool in sauce. Serve cold, with fresh yoghurt to dip them in. Prepare a day ahead, if possible, for best flavour.See More
18 hours ago ·LikeUnlike · 1 personRohini Dasi likes this.

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