Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma

Stuffed Grape Leaves – Sarma Tolma

Stuffed Grape Leaves

A simple and delicious dish from Armenian cuisine : rice stuffed grape leaves or as we also call it: rice tolma. Different cuisines have similar variations of this same dish, I will present my mom’s version , the one I grew up eating , my most favorite one. Hope you guys will try it and enjoy it!

Quick and easy recipe + directions follow.

Happy cooking

Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma


Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma

You will need a jar of canned  grape leaves ( this tolma tastes better when made with fresh grape leaves, in season)

2 ½ -3 cups of long grain rice, I use jasmine rice

¼ cup olive oil plus a bit more to drizzle the dish before cooking( about 2-3 tbs )

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 -3 tbs tomato sauce

1-2 tbs red pepper paste

⅓ cup finely chopped fresh dill ( can use dried dill as well about 2-3 tbs)

¼ cup finely chopped scallions (green onions)

2-3 tbs dry mint

The juice

of 2 large lemons , about 3-4 tbs

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp cayenne

1 tsp Aleppo pepper ( same as crushed red chili pepper)

Salt to taste , keep in mind the canned grape leaves contain salt

Hot water to wet the rice and more to pour over the dish before cooking

You will also need an 9”x13” oven safe baking pan

Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma


Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma

Wash and drain the rice, place in a bowl filled with hot water, be sure the water covers the rice entirely, set aside while you make the rest of stuffing

Finely chop the onion and sautée in olive oil until translucent

Add tomato paste and sauce, mix a 1-2 minutes and remove from the heat

Add finely chopped greens , spices and salt to that mixture

Drain the rice from hot water and mix in with the spiced tomato mixture, add the lemon juice

The filling is ready to be stuffed

Wash the grape leaves with hot then cold water, drain and start stuffing

Place 1-2 tsp of the spiced rice filling on top center, fold the sides toward the center and roll until it forms the right shape, refer to YouTube video for details

Arrange the stuffed grape leaves in your baking pan

Drizzle with 2-3 tbs olive oil, cover with grape leaves to avoid drying the Tolma

Pour hot water , as much as it needs to fully cover the tolmas

Add a bit more salt , not much

Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma

Cover with foil , make a few holes in the foil to let the steam out

Place in 400°F /200°C degree oven 30 minutes, turn of the oven and let it sit in the oven for another 15-20 minutes

Remove and allow to cool down slightly before serving

Can be served with plain or garlic yogurt to your taste

Stuffed Grape Leaves - Sarma


One Comment

  1. I love this recipe I’m new to your channel on YouTube and already love your recipes . I always make stuffed grape leaves but I learnt some new ingredients from your recipe. Thank you

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