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 Georgia, fillings wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves and stuffed peppers are very popular.

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.

Tolma with Matsoni Garlic and Cinamon 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).

Vine Leaves

Preparation – Vine leaves: Wash the leaves in cold water and add (individually) to a pot of salted, boiling water.

Putting Vine Leaves in the pot for Tolma Recipe

Arrange the leaves so that they lay open and flat in the pot.

Vine Leaves ready for Boiling

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.

Boiled Vine Leaves for Tolma Recipe

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.

Grinding Garlic and Onions for Tolma Recipe

Add 1 tsp of red pepper, half tsp of dried coriander and salt (quantity dependent on personal preference).

Tolma Stuffing Ingredients

Mix the ingredients.

Mixing Ingredients for Tolma Recipe

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).

Folding the Vine Leaves for Tolma Recipe - Copy

Fold the base of the leaf over and repeat until you have completely wrapped the filling (see picture below).

Folding a Vine Leaf for Tolma Recipe - Copy

Placed the wrapped filling on a clean surface. We stack ours as it makes them easier to pick up.

Stack of Tolma Ready for Cooking

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.

Tolma Ready for Cooking

Cover them with a plate and weigh the plate down with a suitable heavy object (we used a metal pestle).

Cover Tolma with a Plate and Weight

Pour slightly salted, boiled water into the pot up to but not covering the plate.

Add Water to the Pot of Tolma

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).

Matsoni and Garlic

Thoroughly mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Matsoni Garlic and Cinamon

Serving: Serve hot.

Serving suggestions: Tolma on a plate of Matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce.

Tolma Served with a Matsoni Garlic and Cinnamon Dip

Tolma with poured Matsoni, garlic and cinnamon dip/sauce.

Tolma with Matsoni Garlic and Cinamon Sauce

Tolma “au naturel” – delicious!

Cooked Tolma Ready for Serving

Enjoy your tolma!

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Related posts:

TOLMA – STUFFED PEPPERS

TOLMA – STUFFED CABBAGE LEAVES

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Comments
4 Responses to “TOLMA (DOLMA) – STUFFED VINE LEAVES”
  1. Galina says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes and clear instructions! I am from Ukraine, but Georgian food must be the most delicious in the world. It is often similar, just somehow …richer. I cook it at every opportunity thanks to your site.

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