Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stuffed Grape Leaves (dolma, yalanch sarma)

I recently posted a recipe and video on preparing stuffed grape leaves, a family favorite. Growing up in an Armenian household, the picking of grape leaves were an annual event in early summer. Although I loved to eat them, I cringed with embarrassment whenever the family car would pull over to the side of the road and the paper grocery bags would come out ready to be filled with wild grape leaves from the country side. My parents could spot them at a distance and even if they weren't planning on picking any, it seems as if they were always searching for the next best spot to garner the green gold.

I had made a video of my mom picking grape leaves in June of 2011, and I finally put together a second video showing how to roll and cook them (below). (I use jarred grape leaves in the second video.)
We always referred to these rice and onion (plus other great stuff) stuffed grape leaves as dolma, but the more appropriate name is yalanchi sarma, which refers to a meatless filling wrapped in some kind of leaf. We still call them dolma, which really just means that something is stuffed. They are an awesome food and I hope you'll give them a try soon!

These are grape leaves growing off of shrubs in my back yard. They apparently planted themselves.

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