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.
25-30fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed and prepared
For the filling
12oz/350g minced lamb
2onions, finely chopped
4oz/120glong-grain rice, washed and drained
bunch of dill, parsley and mint, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of ½lemon
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.