"Dolmadakia with yogurt sauce" English
“Dolmadakia”, refers to the iconic wine leaves stuffed with rice and can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish. A tasty, yet time consuming dish due to the assembling process.
The dolmadakia goes excellent with yogurt because it gives a sense of freshness. So, this week’s Greek recipe from Elenas includes a delicious Greek yogurt sauce as well!
Dolmadakia is a well known dish also in Turkey, Syria or Lebanon.
This dish can also be found with mince along with the rice.
Preparation time: 30 min (without counting the assembling part !)
Cook time: 20-30 min
Portions : 6-8 persons (approximately 60 pieces of dolmadakia)
For the filling:
- 240 gr vine leaves (approximately 60 pieces of vine leaves)
- 2 bunches of spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 250 ml Greek olive oil
- 400 gr Karolina rice
- 400 gr water
- 1 tablespoon mint
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- salt and pepper
- ½ bunch fresh dill
zest and lemon juice from 2 lemons
For the yogurt sauce:
- 500 gr Greek yogurt “Dodoni”
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of mint
- 1 teaspoon of dill
- a pinch of salt and pepper
lemon juice from 1 lemon
This traditional recipe takes only 6 steps to make it and these are:
Prepare the vine leaves: Drain the jar and carefully remove the roll of leaves. Separate the leaves (be careful not to tear them), rinse them with cold water and let them drain in a strainer.
Tip: In case you wish to use fresh vine leaves (tender leaves are only suitable for this recipe), blanch them for 2-3 seconds in boiling salted water and place them into a bowl with cold water. When all the leaves are done, allow them to drain in a strainer. Remove any stems or tough veins.
Prepare the filling: On a pot over medium to high heat, add both the onions along with half the olive oil (125ml) and sauté for 2 minutes, until they soften. Rinse the rice, drain it well and add it into the pot. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Then, pour the water, stir and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the rice soaks up the water. Remove from heat when ready and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Lastly, add all the herbs and mix well.
Spread 4-5 vine leaves and lemon drops on the bottom of a 22 cm pot.
Tip: Use any ripped or broken vine leaves for that purpose.
- Assemble the dolmadakia: Take a vine leaf in the palm of your hand or on a work surface (the vein side up and the steam point towards you) and add 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the two short sides over the rice, then roll up, tucking in at the sides to make a little bundle. Repeat until all filling and/or grape leaves are used up, placing each bundle seam side down into the pot.
Remember to be patient!! It takes time but it is a worthwhile process!
Tip: Safe some of your homemade dolmadakia for future use! Assemble your dolmadakia according to the process and keep them in the freezer. Make sure you keep some extra vine leaves (ripped or broken) for the bottom of the pot. When you wish so, cook them according to the following instructions (no defrost is required).
Cooking process: Add the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice over the dolmadakia. Then, place a small plate over the stuffed vine leaves to weigh them down, so they will not fall apart during cooking. Cover with water (extra from the recipe) and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. When ready, remove from heat and let them cool in the pot.
Tip: Try one to taste the rice and cook for 10 more minutes, if you wish so.
- Prepare the yogurt sauce by whisking together all the ingredients into a bowl. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice as needed.
Serve your homemade dolmadakia with some extra lemon drops on the top and the yogurt sauce on the side! As a last touch, sprinkle with your favorite Greek herb.
Kali oreksi / Enjoy your meal !
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