How to Make Dolma (a Turkish Food)

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Delicious food of dolma
Delicious food of dolma

How to Make Dolma

Dolma (a Turkish Food) : One of the special Turkish which has a lot of fans is a stuffed dish, called dolma (delicious food). It is made of different ingredients which are put inside a kind of vegetable or meat.

Turkish people can make this food with a really great taste. It is advisable to travel to this country to order this kind of tasty food.

History of Dolma

Dolma is a kind of stuffed dish which is well-known in different cuisines of Central Asia, Middle East and countries near Mediterranean Sea.

There are generally two types of this food. Firstly, those which are made of some vegetables such as eggplant, pepper, zucchini, tomato, and onion which need to be filled with a variety of ingredients.

Secondly, meat dolmas are filled with rice, vegetables and other things. Both these types can be eaten with different sauces based on your taste.

This food can be served cold or hot as an appetizer or main dish.

Dolma is a Turkish word with the root of dolmak (to fill) which is used to call a food that is stuffed with some ingredients.

This word is originally from Ottoman palace cuisine. Different cuisines such as Greek, Italian, Indian and Arabic have stuffed vegetables with different names in their cultures.

Chefs in Ancient Greece used fig leaves to be stuffed. Iranian cooks in Qajar Era used grape leaves, cucumbers, eggplants, cabbage leaves, apples and quinces for this purpose.

These types of vegetable stuffed were popular in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran and some other countries and they filled the vegetables with ingredients which were accessible to them based on their geographical locations.

Ingredients of Vegetable Turkish Dolma

The following ingredients are used to make 30 dolmas:

• 30 rinsed, drained and dried grape leaves

• 2 cups chopped parsnips

• Half cup minced white onion

• One-fourth cup toasted Pine nuts

• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• One-fourth cup chopped celery

• One-fourth cup chopped parsley

• One-fourth cup chopped mint

• One-fourth cup minced red pepper

• Three-fourth cup salt

• Three-fourth cup pepper

• One-fourth soaked and drained currants

• Zest of one lemon

• 500 gr minced meat

Delicious food of dolma
Delicious food of dolma

Recipe of a Stuffed Dish

If you want to cook this Turkish dolma, follow these steps to make a delicious food :

• Preparation

o Soak grape leaves in warm water for 2 hours, then dry them

o Preheat oven to 150 degrees

o Put half cup minced white onion on the oven to be dry for 20 minutes

• Making fillings

o Put parsnips in a food processor to be small enough (similar to rice)

o Add dried onions to parsnips

o Mix Pine nuts, garlic, celery, and lemon juice

o Add parsnips and onions to the ingredients

o Mix red pepper, parsley, chopped mint, minced meat, pepper, salt, zest of lemon and currants

o Add them to the parsnips and Pine nuts mixture

o Put one tablespoon of the filling ingredients on a grape leaf and roll it

Grape leaves are filled with the ingredients and stewed in their juices slowly.

You can add some plain yogurt and make a colorful food which is easy to eat as a warm meal.

You can put this food in the refrigerator before eating as a cool meal. Also, you can keep it in the refrigerator for two day.

It is optional what ingredients you use to fill this food with but generally, by a change in ingredients, the name of dolma is changed, too.

Turkish cuisine is the foundation of stuffed vegetable or meat dish. Cooking this food needs time and patience to roll or wrap the leaves or vegetable.

Turkish dolma with grape leaves
Turkish dolma with grape leaves

Different Turkish Stuffed Foods

There are a lot of Turkish stuffed foods in Turkey which can be cooked based on various tastes (Turkish Foods) :

• Yaprak dolmasi or Sarma (stuffed grape leaves): this food can be made of minced meat and served with garlic yogurt as a hot dish or with olive oil as a cold dish.

• Biber dolmasi (stuffed pepper): it can be made of red and green peppers with minced meat as a hot or cold dish.

• Kabab dolmasi (zucchini, squash, pumpkin)

Midye dolmasi: it is mainly made of mussel, rice, Pine nuts, raisin, onion

• Hamsi (Anchovy) dolmasi: the main ingredient is a black sea fish.

• Uskumru (Mackerel) dolmasi: it is made of a kind of fish

• Mumbar: intestines of sheep are filled with rice, onion, minced meat, tomato paste, salt and pepper.

• Ciger (liver) sarmasi: it is made of chopped liver, rice, parsley, dill, salt and pepper.

• Kadayif dolmasi: most desserts with layers of pastry are filled with dried fruits which are considered as dolma.

Tips to Cook Stuffed Food

There are some tips which can help you make a better dolma:

• Put some grape leaves on the pot, under dolmas so that your dolmas will not be burned

• Put a plate on top of dolmas so that they will not move

• You can make a sauce for this food by mixing olive oil, sugar and lemon juice

• You should spread out each grape leaf on a flat surface; put the fillings near the bottom of the leaf.

Next, fold up the bottom lower parts and then the outer parts of the leaf to the center. After that you can roll it.

• You need to pour the sauce and water over the dolmas.

• Cover the pot and cook them for 50 minutes with low heat.

Delicious taste of dolma with lemon juice
Delicious taste of dolma with lemon juice

Dolma in Turkey

Turkey is a famous country for its dolma and traditionally Turkish daughters and women were judged based on their skills at making this food.

As the stuffing of every type of dolma is different, the fat and calorie can be different, too.

Grape leaves are high in fiber and low in calories. They are also full of vitamins A and K; and they work as antioxidants.

All people in different regions of Istanbul like to eat a variety of this food at home or at restaurants.

Ankara and Istanbul are two popular cities for eating this food. Apart from local people, tourists and travelers to Turkey prefer to try this national food with its real taste and design.

Some people believe that Turks and Greeks invented this food; while, there is a story that in 335 BC, Alexander visited city of Thebes.

He felt hungry and took vine leaves from trees and went to the kitchen.

He put meat between the leaves and rolled them. Therefore, some people believe that it is the start of making dolma and after that a variety of this food is made in different regions.

All in all, there is not an only city which has cooked this food traditionally as its own local food.

Keep these two points in your mind; firstly, if you traveled to Turkey, order this delicious food in a good restaurant.

Secondly, when you have enough time and want to try a special food, cook this food at home and enjoy the taste with your family.

Pepper dolma in Turkey
Pepper dolma in Turkey
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