14 March 2013

Dolma: Turkish Stuffed Peppers, Artichokes, Onions and Cabbage Leaves

This was the first meal on our plan this week. Dolma literally means "to stuff" in Turkish. The most common version of dolma is stuffed vine leaves.

A few weekends ago my mum came round with some artichokes that someone had sent her from Cyprus so I decided to make dolma with them and other veg we had. Artichokes are notoriously difficult to prep and also start to go brown if you don't rub them with lemon juice after you've prepared them. My mum is a bit of an expert at preparing artichokes, I never really appreciate how good a cook she was until I got in to cooking myself. Anyway, I found this helpful guide on how to prepare artichokes for stuffing.

The stuffing:
250g beef mince*
Handful chopped parsley
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped or grated
2 tbsp uncooked rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato or pepper paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together. *For a vegetarian version just leave out the mince and add more rice, or use cous cous or bulgar wheat.

Preparing vegetables for stuffing;
Peppers - just cut the tops off and remove flesh and seeds
Cabbage leaves - add leaves to boiling water until soft, about 3-4 minutes
Artichokes - once prepared the artichokes need to be cooked in boiling water for a few minutes before stuffing
Onion - cook in boiling water until layers come away easily without breaking

Once the vegetables are prepared all you need to do is fill them with the stuffing mixture and place them in a pot. I then made up 250ml of vegetable stock, to which I added 1 more tablespoon of pepper paste (could use tomato paste too) and poured this around the stuffed vegetables. Make sure the stock doesn't go over the top of peppers or artichokes, so full just half way. Cover and cook for approx. 30-40 minutes.

Once cooked, the dolma goes really well with plain yoghurt, tzatziki or hummus (or salad, or home made chips!)

Hope you try this recipe, would love to hear from you if you do!!


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