Arabic Language Blog

How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Arabic Language, Culture

Marhaba! Today I am going to teach you how to prepare and make Veggie Grape Leaves (ورق عريش محشي قاطع). I feel that most of the recipes that I have shared lately are more for meat lovers. In this post I would like to share a recipe that my wife and I use when preparing veggie stuffed grape leaves. I feel that I have not adequately provided vegetarian folks with tasty Mediterranean recipes. My wife loves veggie grape leaves and we often prepare it as a side dish with other tasty Middle Eastern dishes. We often prepare and serve this dish for family and friends when they come over for lunch or dinner. It goes without saying that veggie stuffed grape leaves are popular in the Middle East as well as places in Europe and North America. While many individuals prefer the meat stuffed grape leaves, which are served hot, I met many American friends that actually liked vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, which are usually served cold. From experience it is not a hard dish to prepare; however, you should keep in mind that the hardest part of this process is when you roll up the grape leaves. But do not feel discouraged, like everything in this life, practice makes perfect!


Like some of the other websites that I have used before, today I am borrowing this recipe from another good Mediterranean cooking website called DedeMed Mediterranean Cooking, the owner of the website Dede refers to it as ‘Dede’s Mediterranean Kitchen. I have also added a YouTube video from the same website that provides you with cooking instructions (تعليمات الطبخ) visually. According to this recipe and out of our experience, you need around 30 minutes (ثلاثون دقيقة) to prepare it. The cooking time is around 2 hours (ساعتان). Do not worry about the cooking time, because when you prepare this dish be ready to have lots and lots of left overs for a couple of days.


I have borrowed a brief introduction of this dish from the same website:

Stuffed Grape leaves or Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in Turkish cuisine and the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions, including, Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Levant, the Balkans, Greece, Iran and Central Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the stuffed grape leaf, which is more precisely called warak areesh, yaprak dolma or sarma. Common vegetables to stuff include zucchini (كوسا), eggplant (بذنجان), tomato (طماطم) and pepper (فليفلة). The stuffing may include meat (لحم) or not. Meat stuffed grape leaves or dolmas are generally served warm, often with sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold. Both can be eaten along with yogurt(لبن).



–          1 Jar Grape Leaves (ورق عريش) in Brine

–          2 cups long grain rice (الأرز), rinsed

–          1 cup chopped parsley (البقدونس)

–          1 cup chopped tomato (طماطم)

–          1/2 tsp dried mint (النعناع المجفف)

–          1/2 cup chopped green onion (البصل الأخضر)

–          1/4 cup chopped yellow onion (البصل الأصفر)

–          1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (فلفل حريف)

–          1 tsp salt (ملح)

–          1/2 cup to 1 cup lemon juice (عصير الليمون)

–          1 cup extra virgin olive oil (زيت الزيتون)



–          Mix all ingredients except grape leaves, 1/2 cup of the lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of the olive oil.

–          Roll up grape leaves

–          Line pot with some sliced carrots.

–          Layer in the rolled grape leaves and place a dish upside down on top, then place a heave object over the dish.

–          Add remainder of lemon juice and 1 cup water, bring to a boil then turn down heat to medium low. Cook for 2 hours on low heat and half way through add 1/2 cup of olive oil.

–          When 2 hours is up, let pot rest for minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Place at room temperature or cold.




Stay tuned for upcoming posts!

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About the Author: jesa

Salam everyone! Born as an American to two originally Arab parents, I have been raised and have spent most of my life in Beirut, Lebanon. I have lived my good times and my bad times in Beirut. I was but a young child when I had to learn to share my toys and food with others as we hid from bombs and fighting during the Lebanese Civil War. I feel my connection to Arabic as both a language and culture is severing and so it is with you, my readers and fellow Arabic lovers, and through you that I wish to reestablish this connection by creating one for you.