The Delicious and Versatile Stuffed Vegetable Dish of Turkish Cuisine

Dolma is a beloved dish in Turkish cuisine that is made by stuffing vegetables, such as grape leaves, bell peppers, tomatoes, or eggplants, with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices. The stuffed vegetables are then simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce to create a hearty and satisfying meal that is packed with flavor.


  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8-10 grape leaves, rinsed and drained (or substitute with bell peppers, tomatoes, or eggplants)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the rice, onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. Place a grape leaf (or a piece of a bell pepper, tomato, or eggplant) on a flat surface, with the stem end facing you. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the rice mixture onto the leaf. Fold the stem end of the leaf up over the filling and then fold the sides of the leaf inwards to enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Place the stuffed leaves in the saucepan, seam side down, and cover with a lid. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the leaves are soft and pliable.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the dolma cool to room temperature. Serve the dolma as a side dish or main course, garnished with additional fresh herbs and a drizzle of lemon juice, if desired.

Dolma is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your tastes and preferences. You can use different types of herbs and spices in the filling mixture, such as cumin, coriander, or allspice, to add a different flavor profile. You can also use different types of vegetables to stuff, such as zucchini, summer squash, or mushrooms. The possibilities are endless, and the result is always delicious.

If you are looking for a hearty and satisfying meal that is packed with flavor, try making dolma at home. It is a simple and flavorful dish that is sure to impress your friends and family. Give it a try and discover why it is a beloved staple in Turkish cuisine.

Dolma, stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, bell peppers

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