Masterchef Recipe |Yaprak Sarmasi| Seda Baskurt

Seda Baskurt

Seda Baskurt


Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yaprak Sarması)


This dish is served in all regions of Turkey. It is prepared in all occasions; however, it is mostly served at parties, get-togethers, and family gatherings.

DSCN2896It originates from Ottoman Empire cuisine and also found in Balkans, Middle East and Central Europe. It can be served hot or cold with a yogurt on the side.

The cold sarma is eaten in summer. When sarma is made with meat, it is eaten in the winter.

Although preparation takes too much time, sarma is just an ordinary dish which is eaten every day. It is not considered as a main course. So, you would serve it as a side dish along with a main course or as an entrée.


I chose to share the recipe of stuffed grape leaves, sarma, because it brings back memories when we had big family gatherings.

I used to help my mother to wrap the leaves. Since they are individually wrapped, it takes a lot of time. My mom would make nearly hundreds of it to be able to serve everyone.

This dish is also my husband’s favorite, so I try to make it every often.


I now buy all of my ingredients from A Mart which is a big Turkish grocery store that has been opened recently (Kruisstraat). You can find all of the ingredients in that store.

The most important ingredient is the grape leaves and you can only find it in a Turkish grocery store. The quality is also very important.

This is a video for stuffed grape leaves that is served cold. This is also suitable for vegetarians.

The video also demonstrates how the grape leaves are stuffed and wrapped. Sorry it is in Turkish, but you will get the main idea.

DSCN2913Stuffed Grape Leaves Cold (Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarması)

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hr 30 minutes

Serve: 4/20-24 rolls


  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves or 500 gr. Packaged grape leaves
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1 tomato, chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. DSCN2889Put the onions and oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the onions caramelized, while the onions cook, peel the garlic cloves and mash them to a paste in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add this to the pan along with the tomato, lemon juice, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir in the rice.
  4. DSCN2883Cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dill.
  6. Set aside to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
  7. While this is cooling, drain the grape leaves and carefully pull them apart. Put them into a bowl and cover them with cold water.
  8. Let them soak until you are ready to roll.
  9. DSCN2911Place a grape leaf on your work surface, shiny side down.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon of the rice mixture to the middle of the grape leaf.
  11. Fold the sides over the rice and roll the leaf into a small log shape, about the size of a thumb.
  12. Repeat with the remaining rice.
  13. When you are finished wrapping, place them in a cooking pan.
  14. DSCN2916Cover the bottom of the cooking pan with grape leaves with several layers and pour in the water until it is over the wrapped grape leaves.
  15. Cover the top with a small size place to prevent them from opening.
  16. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  17. Serve cool.

Serving tip: Serve with yoghurt. Decorate with parsley and lemon on top. Enjoy!