Vine Leaves Stuffed with Meat

Etli yaprak dolması


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

These stuffed vine leaves are often spiked with a little hot pepper and tomato in parts of central and south-east Anatolia. This is the Istanbul version, served hot with yogurt.


  • 25-30 fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed and prepared

For the filling

  • 12 oz/350 g minced lamb
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 oz/120 g long-grain rice, washed and drained
  • bunch of dill, parsley and mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Cooking liquid

  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Pound and knead the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. Lay the leaves on a flat surface and place a little of the meat mixture at the top of each leaf. Fold the sides over and roll the leaf up into a tight package. Arrange them in the base of a wide saucepan, jammed together so that they don’t open while cooking. Mix together the cooking liquid ingredients and pour the liquid over the vine leaves. Place a plate on top, cover with a lid, and cook gently for 40-45 minutes. Serve hot with yogurt.