Dolma, literally means stuffed! We tend to use the word ‘dolma’ to describe vine leaves which have been stuffed, but traditionally these are actually called ‘sarma’. Anyway, I’m sticking with ‘dolma’ as that is the name we usually use! Then again, maybe we do use it for stuffed veg too as we have this dolma recipe on the blog already! 😛

Anyway, these are rather time consuming to make, but well worth the effort! If you don’t have a vine to pick leaves from, you can by pre-packed (usually ready to use) therefore cutting your preparation time down a lot! We just wanted to make use of the fresh leaves which were growing at Mum’s! 😀


I’m sharing these over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week, co-hosted by Zeba @ Food For The Soul and Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes Come over and join us, have a look around, see what everyone else is sharing and make new friends! 🙂

If you have a go at making these, please share your photos using the hashtag #LifeDietHealth or tag us @LifeDietHealth on instagram. If you’re not following us everywhere why not!? 😛 Have a look and see what we’re up to on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook! We’d love you to join us! Don’t forget to subscribe here as well so you get your free weekly recipe straight to your inbox!

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Speak soon!

Laurena x

5 from 1 vote

Vine leaves stuffed with flavoured rice, served hot or cold.

Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: dolma
Serves: 50 dolma
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 50 plus a few extra vine leaves fresh or pre-packaged, stalks snipped off.
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 teaspoons oil coconut or olive
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 200 g brown rice
  • 400 ml water
  • 20 fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons stock powder
  • 750-1000 ml boiling water
  1. If you are using fresh vine leaves, after washing, layer them in a pan, then pour boiling water over them to cover. Put a lid on the pan and leave for a couple of minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, then stack on a plate. If using pre-packaged leaves, rinse, then stack on a plate.

  2. Put the onion in a pan with some water, cover the pan with a lid and allow to soften for 4-5 minutes. When the water has evaporated, add the oil then cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for a further minute then stir the pine nuts in.

  3. Add the rice, stir to coat in oil, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the water. Cover with a lid and leave for 10-15 minutes until the water has evaporated and the rice still has bite.

  4. Add the mint, dill, currants and salt and mix in. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cool bowl.

  5. Layer the base of a large pan with spare vine leaves, you will place each rolled dolma into the pan seal-side down. You need to pack them quite tightly. You can layer them on top of each other and try not to leave any gaps.

  6. Lay a vine leaf upside down (veins upward) with the area where the stalk was towards you. Place about 2 teaspoons of rice mix closest to you. 

  7. Fold the right side in and over the filling, then the left side. Next, fold the right side again to make a straight line for rolling, followed by the left. Holding the filling in, tightly roll the leaf up until you have a neat tidy roll. Make sure all the filling is sealed inside. Place in the pan. Continue with the rest of the leaves and filling.

  8. When you've finished making all the dolma, place slices of lemon over the dolma, then cover with the remaining vine leaves.

  9. Mix the nutritional yeast and stock with the boiling water, then carefully pour over the dolma. The water should completely cover the dolma (add a bit more if needed).

  10. Put the pan on a medium heat on the hob and cook for 30-40 minutes. The rice should be cooked and the water should have all been absorbed. If you want shiny dolma, once you have removed them from the heat, drizzle with olive oil. You can eat the dolma hot or wait for them to cool and serve cold.

  11. Enjoy!!!

Tips & Storage
  • You can vary the filling to suit you - try adding diced aubergine or add a chopped tomato to the rice mix.
  • Vary the herbs - add fresh parsley or dill, add more, add less.
  • Use any stock to cook the dolma in.
  • If you like sumac, make a cooking liquid of sumac dissolved in water.
  • If it's your thing, you can of course add minced meat to the dolma (maybe green lentils would work too).
  • Make the filling and use it to stuff vegetables such as aubergine, courgette and tomatoes, then bake them with the dolma (it's easier than rolling but not as tasty)! 

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  • Eva 12th September 2018 at 14:00

    Hi Laurena, was just thinking about you- how’s your knee? All well, I hope. Mmm, I’ve not had dolma for years (ashamed to say I’ve never made them myself). I grew up knowing them as koupepia?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 12th September 2018 at 14:12

      Aww thanks Eva! My operation went well but time will tell if it worked as it should! Not too much pain as yet but I’m not even allowed to boil the kettle until tomorrow so I’m feeling a bit lost! I’ve never heard of ‘koupepia’ so I’d love to know how to pronounce it for a start! 😛

  • Eva 12th September 2018 at 14:43

    Fingers crossed about your knee. It’s ‘koo-beb-yia’ but that’s probably made it even more confusing lol?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 12th September 2018 at 14:46

      lol… well I said it as I read it! Going to investigate it now! I’m on online chat if you’re still there?

  • Judith A. Graber 14th September 2018 at 14:13

    I have been collecting dolmas recipes and hope to make them sometime in the near future. Just tried to print your recipe but I am getting an error message from my printer! Since you’re blogging you must be feeling pretty good after your surgery.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 14th September 2018 at 16:07

      Oh no… l just did a test print and it worked for me – I hope you don’t need a new printer!? Did you try to print something else? You really should have a go at dolma when you have time, they are really worth it especially when you customise them to your own tastes! Thank you, I’m feeling better than I expected to but I can’t walk without my crutches yet so still a long way to go!

  • Judith A. Graber 14th September 2018 at 21:13

    AT&T is the issue – I have to reset my receiver and printer every now and then. It’s a real inconvenience! Yes, I hope to make them – just want to look at all the ideas I’m collecting and like you said “make them to taste”.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 16th September 2018 at 09:17

      That would annoy me! At least our service is consistent and generally updated overnight. I look forward to seeing your ‘dolma’ version. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  • Zeba Durrani 15th September 2018 at 19:00

    Laurena, I have been dying to make dolmas and never got round to it. I am going to use your recipes as the inspiration to give these a try now. Thanks for sharing on Fiesta Friday!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 16th September 2018 at 17:55

      Thanks Zeba. I hope you have fun making them – let me know how they turn out!

  • Of Goats and Greens 17th September 2018 at 12:12

    I’ve made both lamb dolma and vegetarian dolma, my lamb turned out wonderful but my vegetarian left me dissatisfied… so I’m going to try yours!!! Thanks!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 19th September 2018 at 08:58

      Excellent! Hope this recipe is the one you come back to time and time again! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 19th September 2018 at 03:25

    I’ve made these, not with grape leaves but some weedy sorrel leaves. They were delicious! I served them with yogurt sauce. How do you normally serve them, with or without sauce?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 19th September 2018 at 09:00

      Ooo yes, I should have mentioned that other leaves could be used (it’s a good use of cabbage leaves)! We usually just eat them as they are, but sometimes we bake them in a tomato based sauce… not tried a yogurt sauce with these – sounds yummy though! 🙂 Thanks Angie! x

  • Debanita 19th September 2018 at 19:33

    This is a lovely dolma recipe. I am going to try this. Thanks for sharing this to Fiesta Friday

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 19th September 2018 at 20:44

      Thank you Deb, let me know how it goes. Thanks for co-hosting, I hope you had fun!


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