TOLMA (DOLMA) – STUFFED VINE LEAVES
Tolma (Georgian: ტოლმა), known as Dolma in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, is a popular meal in Georgia and many other countries and there are many variations. It usually describes a filled, hollowed-out vegetable or a filling wrapped in a leaf. Fillings can include meat and vegetables.
In this recipe we will show how to make a meat and rice filled tolma wrapped in a vine leaf, served with a matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce.
Ingredients (5-6 servings): For the wrapping: up to 60 Vine leaves (new leaves will be more tender). We used leaves from our own vines. For the filling: half kilo of pork/beef mix mincemeat, 120 grams of rice, 1 tsp of red pepper, half tsp of dried coriander, salt (quantity dependent on personal preference), 4 cloves of garlic, 2 white onions. In some recipes, finely chopped basil, parsley and coriander is also used. For the dip/sauce: 3 cloves of garlic, 400 grams of Matsoni -a type of sour yoghurt, (or sour cream), 1 pinch of cinnamon and 1 tsp of white sugar (optional).
Preparation – Vine leaves: Wash the leaves in cold water and add (individually) to a pot of salted, boiling water.
Arrange the leaves so that they lay open and flat in the pot.
Boil for 3-4 minutes. When the leaves have boiled, pour the whole pot (water and leaves) into a sink full of cold water and let the leaves cool.
Preparation – The filling: It is not necessary to cook the rice at this stage but we prefer to parboil it before adding it to the tolma filling. After parboiling, pour the rice into a sieve and pour cold water onto it to prevent it sticking.
Add the parboiled rice, together with the mincemeat, to a bowl. We used a meat grinder to add crushed garlic and onions.
Add 1 tsp of red pepper, half tsp of dried coriander and salt (quantity dependent on personal preference).
Mix the ingredients.
Preparation – Molding the mix: To make an individual tolma, take a small amount of the filling and mold it by hand until it is oblong shape (5-6 cm long). The aim is to create a bite sized tolma.
Preparation – Wrapping the filling: Carefully place a wet vine leaf on a flat surface (we used a large wooden chopping board) and place the molded filling at the base of the leaf. Wrap the sides of the leaf over the mixture (see picture below).
Fold the base of the leaf over and repeat until you have completely wrapped the filling (see picture below).
Placed the wrapped filling on a clean surface. We stack ours as it makes them easier to pick up.
When all of the tolma have been made, place them in layers in a deep pot. Ensure that they are placed close to each other.
Cover them with a plate and weigh the plate down with a suitable heavy object (we used a metal pestle).
Pour slightly salted, boiled water into the pot up to but not covering the plate.
Cover the pot and cook the tolma on a low-medium heat for 30-35 minutes.
Preparation – Matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce: Crush 3 cloves of garlic and add to 400 grams ofMatsoni (or sour cream). Add 1 pinch of cinnamon and 1 tsp of white sugar (optional).
Thoroughly mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Serving: Serve hot.
Serving suggestions: Tolma on a plate of Matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce.
Tolma with poured Matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce.
Tolma “au naturel” – delicious!
Enjoy your tolma!
CLICK on the logo to visit GEORGIA ABOUT on Facebook and see photos and news about Georgia. Click LIKE on the page and become a friend of GEORGIA ABOUT.