- 16 ounce jar grape leaves (about 80)rice filling (below)
- Filling (about 5 cups, enough to fill 60-80 leaves, depending on size.)
- 2 lbs onions
- 1 cup medium grain rice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 large bunch parsley
- 1/2 cup lemon juice1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped
- 2 Tablespoon fresh dill – chopped
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Chop onions and parsley, mint and dill. Saute onions in oil for 15 minutes. Stir in rice and lemon juice and cook 10 minutes longer.
- Add remaining filling ingredients and cook a few minutes longer. (rice should not be completely cooked, it will expand after it is filled into the grape leaves)
- Filling may be prepared in advance and refrigerated
- Rinse and soak grape leaves in hot water to remove brine. Remove stems
- Place each leaf with shiny side down on a plate. Put 1 to 11/2 tablespoon of filling at stem end. Roll once, fold in sides and roll the rest of the way. Try to get them as tight as possible. Food Picture
- In pan for cooking place torn grape leaves to line the bottom (you can also use a few lettuce leaves to line the pan).
- Pack rolled grape leaves close together, as many layers as needed.
- Add 3 cups water, put a heavy plate on top of the leaves to keep them from floating up.
- Bring to a boil on med high heat (watch closely not to scorch the bottom). Lower heat , cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool, uncover and drain liquid. (grape leaves will discolor if uncovered while still hot)
- Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges.
It is important to roll sarma tightly and completely enclose the filling. Leaves which tear can be used to line the bottom of the pan. Pack tightly together and hold down with a plate while cooking to prevent unraveling. If too much water gets into the sarma, they will be soft and bland in taste.