“What do you mean you don’t eat no meat?” – A famous quote from my favourite movie My Big Fat Greek wedding (seriously, I know every line from that movie).
From before I can remember my Egyptian mother and I have been making dolmatis (Lebanese style) on the kitchen bench – so prepare yourselves, you will need a lot of bench space and a lot of patience rolling these up, but the best part is, it’s fun and feeds many meals.
Traditional dolmati includes white rice and meat, but because I wanted to put a spin on these, I’ve made them vegetarian.
My mother and I were super excited making these as the vine leaves, tomatoes, parsley and lemons were picked from our very own garden.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup of red rice (can use brown, black, basmati or quinoa)
- 500g organic TVP (textured soy protein – tastes like meat, no one will ever know)
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoons allspice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 jar of grape vine leaves
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons plain natural yoghurt (vegan option: coconut yoghurt)
How to make:
- In a bowl, combine the red rice, TVP, the juice of 1 lemon, tomatoes, onions, parsley, garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, allspice and sea salt and mix with your hands.
- Remove grape vine leaves from the jar and spread them out (gently as they tend to rip easily) across your bench. Place 1 tbs of the filling (depending on the size of each leaf), just above the stem, shape the filling with your fingers into a sausage shape of about 5cm.
- Now rolling – this has taken me years to master, but my mother tells me I roll them better than her now). Start rolling by folding the back edges of the leaf over the filling, then like a kebab, fold the left then right side of the leaf over the filling. Continue rolling and folding in the sides until you have a complete roll.
- Spread 1 or 2 layers of vine leaves on the bottom of a large and heavy pot – this prevents dolmatis from burning. Lay the dolmatis side by side tightly in the pot. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and the boiling water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed (approx 1 hour).
- Cool for 10 minutes before demolishing.
You can also dip the dolmatis in natural yoghurt.
Now go make your mumma proud!
Makes approximately 25 dolamtis
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour