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Dolma, or Tolma is a common dish among the peoples of the former Ottoman Empire. In Ukraine, dolma is cooked in Bessarabia, and the dish is an integral part of traditional Crimean Tatar cuisine.

Translated from Turkish, the name of the dish literally means "stuffed", so sometimes the word "dolma" is used to denote any stuffed dish. But the classic dolma is minced meat wrapped in grape leaves. It can be served hot or cold, as a main course or snack.

And the dish is very healthy. First, minced dolma is not fried, so more nutrients are stored. Secondly, grape leaves during cooking emit essential oils that have a healing effect on the body.

Ingredients

Here's what you need to cook dolma:

 

  • mincemeat — 500 grams (according to the classics of Crimean Tatar cuisine, lamb should be used, it can be replaced with minced beef and pork);
  • rice — 250 grams;
  • onions — 4 pieces;
  • tomato paste — 2 tablespoons;
  • water — ½ glasses;
  • grape leaves — 500 grams;
  • salt and pepper — to taste;
  • greens — to taste (you can use cilantro, dill, parsley, etc.).

The cooking process

  1. Meat and onions should be cut and ground in a meat grinder. Mix mincemeat with washed rice, herbs and spices. Separately mix water and tomato paste, add this mixture to the stuffing.
  2. Now prepare the grape leaves. If it is very tight, pour boiling water over it for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the cuttings.
  3. Then we move on to the formation of the dolma. Lay the leaf with the more textured side facing you. Place the minced meat dumpling in the middle of the sheet and wrap it. This process is very similar to cooking cabbage rolls.
  4. It is best to cook dolma in a cauldron or pan with thick walls. Place unused grape leaves on the bottom of the dish. Tightly fold the dolma in several layers on top. Try to fold each twig seam down. Pour water into the pan so that it almost covers the top layer of the dolma. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low. The dolma should be cooked under cover for about an hour. Then remove the pan from the heat and let the dish infuse for 10-15 minutes.
  5. If you plan to serve dolma hot, sour cream will go well with it. It is customary to spoon olive oil and lemon juice over a cold snack. Bon appetit!

Other dishes

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Area: Southern Ukraine

Gutsul Varya (Beetrut salad)

Area: Western Ukraine