Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Grape Leaf Rolls with Groundbeef

(Etli Yaprak Sarmasi - Ottoman Kitchen)

Grape Leaf Rolls with Groundbeef
1 lb grape leaves, washed one by one

3 tbsp crushed tomatoes
60 ml butter, diced

1 1/4 lb medium or regular ground beef, uncooked
1/2 cup rice, washed and drained
1/4 cup water
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped or grated

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt

Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl with a tablespoon. Fill a large pot half way with water and boil. Add in all the leaves and boil for about 2-3 minutes. Drain, then cut off the stems (picture). The matte (not shiny) side of the leaf is the inside, that's where the filling will go. Grab a leaf (picture) and fold the top as shown in the picture. Put the leaf into your palm and use a teaspoon to put filling on it (picture). First fold over the top (picture), then the two sides (picture) and roll to close it up (picture).

Line up all the rolls in a large pot tightly, without big holes in between (picture). Spread the sauce on top. Put a small plate upside down over the rolls - this is to prevent the rolls from unfolding while being cooked. Then pour in a cup of water (picture). Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cup of hot water, and cook for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve with Yogurt with Garlic Sauce.

"Dolma" is a Turkish word which means "stuffed" in English. You can make "dolma" with pepper, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, fish, apple, etc.

"Sarma" is also a Turkish word means "rolled up" in English. You can make sarma with grape or mulberry, cherry, cabbage, swiss chard, kale, bean's leaves, etc.

So, sarma shouldn't be called dolma, they are different:)



At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur Hanim,

Tercih ettiginiz bir marka var mi yaprak olarak?

Ben Yunan markalarini genelde tuzlu ve sert buluyorum, sizin fikrinizi merak ettim.

Ayrica, Canada'ya delivery yapiyorlarmi bilmiyorum, ama birkac Turk markasi satiyor salamura.


At 5:58 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Asli,
Ben genelde Krinos marka aliyorum, uzerinde California Grap Leavs yaziyor. Kavanozun suyunu bosalttiktan sonra yapraklari muslukta akan suyun altindan tek tek gecirip, kaynar suya atin. Birkac dakika sonra cikardiginizda hem yumusamis hem de tuz miktari azalmis olucaktir. Yapragin kenarindan tadina bakin tuzlu ise, kiymaya koydugunuz tuz miktarini azaltin.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam Sis

I'm so glad that I found ur website with the turkish recipe. My husband is turkish and I'm trying to learn how to cook turkish food for him :) btw do u do the same for cabbage for the dolma?

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

For cabbage rolls, add 1 tbsp of red pepper paste, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and 1/2 a lemon's juice. Before you roll them, boil the cabbage leaves until they soften and the rest should be the same.
Hope this helps :)

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ohh yes..u helps heaps! :) thanks alot sis!

p/s: there any way that i can keep in touch with u..u r like my e-chef for turkish food :)

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

If you have any questions, my e-mail address is on the right.


At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the Greatest!!! I am american and my husband is from Adana. Everything I cook from your site he loves. Sometimes I would find Turkish recipies and he would not recognize it. Tonight I will attempt this recipie.

Thanks Again-Lisa

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lisa,
I am glad your husband likes these recipes:) I hope he likes this one too..

At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question. In the picture where you pour "water" over the grape leaves the liquid is reddish. What is it? Thanks

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Gary,
I just mixed some crushed tomato (garnish) with the water, then I poured it in:)

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahhhhh!! ozledim anneanne'min dolmalarini bee!! tesekkurler bu tarif'i cok iyi oldu sag oglun!

At 11:05 PM, Blogger anna/village vegan said...

Binnur, do you know if it's possible to freeze rolled grape leaves? I'd love to make these, but there is no way I could eat them all before they went bad!

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Place the rolls in a airtight container and keep them in the freezer. Defrost before cooking. They will be just fine:)

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
My husband is Turkish and told me there is a sauce that his mom put over the dolma. Butter, and pepper/tomato paste with garlic? Any idea on how to do this? Thanks for all you do. The site is wonderful.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Dear Cheryl,
Some regions use some sauce for Dolma like Adana:) I've already posted one Dolma recipe with the sauce, here is the recipe;

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help. His mom is originally from the Adana region. Again, thanks for all the hard work you do on this site.--cheryl

At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! There is a flat bread that is so delicious and served with the grape leaves (as a way to eat them as a sandwich). It is not pita bread, it is flatter and has bubbles from baking. Do you have a recipe for this? I loved this bread growing up, but now my grandmother has passed and taken the recipe with her. Thank you.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ranae ,
Yes, I have it and I am going to post it in the future:)

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try also instead of water using Beef broth or even Chicken broth. (although some may preferr to not mix chicken/beef flavors -- but I like it)
I also add a little crushed garlic in the hamberg mix.
I cook all this in my slow-cooker.

Very nice!

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Grape Leaf Rolls are traditionally served with Garlic Yogurt Sauce.
I think you would like to have it in the same way :)

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Amina said...

Hi Binnur,

I only have a small question here, the grape leaves used in this recipe, are they in brine or vinegar? or is it something else? what normally are you supposed to use?
Thank you in advance.


At 7:48 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Amina,
I always use grape leaves in brine.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur, hi

I have an old recipe book, which recommends to serve, a part from the yogurt sause, a small plate with powdered cinnamon with sugar. What would you say to that?

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

This yogurt sauce looks like an Ottoman recipe. I am going to try for sure:)

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi you have a great website :) i love making yaprak sarma,but as my husbands family is from konya its different just as you mentioned that recipes vary and differ from region to region. I was wondering 2 things. 1- what type of cabbage do you use for lahana sarma? And 2- my husbands mother makes a thin bread thats eaten in the morning,its like a better,tastier,larger version of a tortilla .she cooks it on like a old clay or stone there any way to cook it inhouse?as i live in sweden.thanks. :)

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

I use white or green cabbage to make Eti Lahana Sarma. This type of cabbage has flat wide leaves that make them easy to roll:)
You can use a Teflon pan to make flat bread at home.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Dee said...

What's the best way to keep dolmas warm and moist while transporting to another location?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Dee,
Place them in a microwave safe glass food container with the lid. I use Pyrex brand, the lid has 'open vent for microwave use'. You can heat food up in the microwave with the lid on (vent open on lid of course) and my microwave stays clean.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you so much for the recipe! I use your recipes all the time and I love them. I was wondering, can I prepare these the day before? I have guests coming for dinner but won't have time to make them the day they come. If I pre-make them, should I go ahead and cook all the way through and then reheat when the guests arrive or should I just assemble them and place in the pot and wait to cook them the next night when we have our dinner? Thanks!

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you:) You can pre-make them all the way through and then reheat before the guests arrive:)
Take care,

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Vicki from Brisbane said...

Hi Binnur

I've written to you before thanking you for this wonderful collection of Turkish recipes. I am a huge fan of your site and use it at least three times a week! Yesterday I was delighted to find a proper Turkish food store in my hometown of Brisbane. I found so many things that I've been missing to make much of the Turkish food on your site. One of the things I found was Yaprak Sarma in a plastic bottle packed in brine I think and topped with salt. To make this recipe with this Yaprak do I just follow your instructions and take them from the plastic container, wash them one by one and then boil them? My mother in law suggested that I should empty the brine and fill the container with boiling water and leave it for two hours and then empty that water and do it again - leaving it again for two hours. So I'm not sure how to tackle it? Would you mind giving me your suggestion - even if that is - 'just follow my recipe!' :) Thank you very much Binnur. I have another question regarding Tarhana which I will post under that recipe. Thanks for your patience with us new Turkish chefs.


At 10:58 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Vicki,
Thank you:) If you keep them in hot water for a long time, it makes them difficult to roll up.

Yaprak would be very salty if the yaprak in brine is topped with salt. Rinse them under the running water, then after boiling, keep them under the running cold water for a while to wash out the salt. Taste the leaves to see whether they are too salty or not. If salty enough, do not add salt in your filling or add just a little bit.

Next time you will know better how much salt you should add to the filling.


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