Am very happy to introduce a short serial of yummy Turkish recipes, made by Aysegül, Ecem, Ayse & Tugce. They prepared beautiful dishes during one of our Get in Touch cooking workshop on 21st of September 2017 .
We’ll start with the recipe of our host of that Get in Touch Workshop: Aysegül Mike
Thanks a lot Aysegül, for sharing your recipe & memories: see below!
YAPRAK SARMA | STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES
Rolled Grape/Wine Leaves with Aromatic Rice
BACKGROUND INFO ABOUT THE DISH
Yaprak sarma is a traditional dish in Turkey that is typically grape vine leaves rolled and filled with minced meat or vegetables.
This vegetarian version has a rice filling that is seasoned well with fresh parsley and mint, pomegranate salad dressing, tomato and pepper paste. Filling and rolling the vine leaves is a bit time-consuming, but you will end up with an enormous amount of sarma that you can eat from for days.
Meaty version is served hot. You can eat vegetarian version hot or cold.
This dish is served in all regions in Turkey. It’s prepared in all occasions: especially during long holidays (like Eid). It takes too long but it’s not a main dish. You can serve it as a side dish along with a main course or as an entrée. Like “meze”.
PERSONAL MEMORIES OF THIS DISH
In Turkey you can find different versions of the recipe. I think my grandmother has the most delicious recipe. I used to help my mother and my grandmother to wrap the leaves. Since they are individually wrapped, it takes a lot of time. They can make nearly hundreds of it faster than me.
When I was a child I liked to sit my mother and watched her do this. Sometimes I ate too much uncooked sarma and she said “If you eat too much your stomach aches.”
WHERE TO BUY SPECIAL INGREDIENTS
You can find all ingredients in the Turkish grocery stores.
- 1 cup white rice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves or 500 grams of packaged grape leaves
- 2 large onions (finely chopped)
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 tomato (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon pepper paste
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate salad dressing or 1 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the rice well.
- Mix all ingredients.
- Put all the leaves in a pan with boiled water and leave them for five minutes. Drain.
- Take a large pan and put some olive oil on the bottom. Put a few broken vine leaves on the bottom of the pan. This will stop the “yaprak sarma” from sticking to the pan.
- Lay one of the vine leaves on a flat surface (shiny side down) and spoon some filling in the middle of the leaf. Pull the leaf over the filling, fold in the sides, then roll into a tight log (try not to over fill, as the filling may ooze out). You can see here the filling part https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHLPql7KöWw8
- Arrange the vine leaves, seam side down, in a deep wide pan. Pack them tightly together, layer by layer.
- Than you can add some water and the water should almost cover the top layer.
- Place a heavy plate over the sarmas and put them on medium heat.
- Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat, cover and cook gently for about 45 minutes, until the rice is cooked.