How to make it

  • *Depending upon which vegetable you choose to stuff, use the following directions and quantities:
  • Tomatoes - 12 large- slice off top and hollow out
  • Bell peppers - 12 med to small - slice off top and hollow out
  • Zuchinni or eggplant - 24 very small - slice off the stem end and hollow out (you will need to go to a Middle Eastern shop and ask for a "mahwarra." It is the kitchen tool used for hollowing out marrow vegetables. If all else fails, do your best with an apple corer.)
  • Cabbage - minimum of 36 leaves, blanched
  • Grape leaves - 1 small jar or package
  • *Stock for cooking:
  • Put the water, stock cubes, cardamom, cumin, dried herbs, garlic, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and onion In a large pot and bring to a boil to make the cooking stock.
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • Strain the stock, reserving the vegetables.
  • Discard the cardamom pods (count out 6 as you throw them away).
  • Rinse the rice until the water is clear, and then put it in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the dill, parsley, chopped tomato and remaining olive oil.
  • Add the ground meat, 2 oz of the stock, and mix well (use your hands).
  • Stuff your chosen vegetable 3/4 full (excluding the cabbage and grape leaves). and stand them upright in a pot that will allow just the quantity of vegetables you have - pack them in so they won't fall over.
  • Cover with the stock to just barely above the tops of the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Cook until the rice has expanded and the vegetables are soft but firm.
  • *For cabbage and grape leaves:
  • Lay each leaf individually on your worktop.
  • Put about 1 tsp of meat and rice mixture in the center and fold the edges inward as you roll the leaf tightly.
  • Stack the rolled leaves in a pot suitably sized for the quantity you are making.
  • Pour the stock into the pot, just enough to barely cover the top of the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil, then coverand simmer until leaves are tender but firm.
  • Serve with a cucumber/yogurt/garlic/mint sauce:
  • 1 large pot of plain yogurt
  • Mix in:
  • 1 small cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic clove
  • *Some people like to top the vegetables with tomato puree while they are cooking. This will give you a nice tomato sauce to spoon over the vegetables when they are done.

Reviews & Comments 5

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    " It was excellent "
    choclytcandy ate it and said...
    you have some awesome recipes and interesting tips on your page. thanks for sharing.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    jimrug1 ate it and said...
    Very cool photos by the way.. ;-)~
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    jimrug1 ate it and said...
    Hi Tippy, Excellent post! These are the same techniques we use but with a little more traditional Lebanese spicing. My uncle makes a great tool for hollowing out Koosa and Eggplant. The ones we buy at our local Ethnic shoppes don't seem to hold up to our abuse.. We have a running debate in our family about rolling grape leaves. Half roll open ends, Half closed ends...
    Your stuffing sounds delicious... Thanks Jim
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    jenniferbyrdez ate it and said...
    Oh yeah.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    bluewaterandsand ate it and said...
    Wow, looks wonderful! You must be a great cook.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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