Stuffed Grape Leaves: A Touch of the Middle East

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Credit: F_A

Dolmades are a variety of stuffed vegetable dishes popular in the Middle East and neighboring regions. The Greeks, the Egyptians and many Mediterranean countries all have their versions of dolma.  Although each region has a different name for this stuffed delight, their versions have a lot in common.

Dolmades or Mahsi Wara’Enab?

The Mideats article “Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Ground Beef (Mahshi Wara’ Enab)” describes the Egyptian and Middle Eastern version of stuffed grape leaves: “You take a look at Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll notice that they have a habit of stuffing things too. Green peppers, onions, tomatoes, Swiss chard, zucchinis/courgette, eggplants, and cabbage are all commonly stuffed – usually with a mix of rice, minced meat, and various spices. In terms of grape leaves, every Mediterranean or Middle Eastern country has a distinguishing mixture. The Greek and Lebanese like lamb in their cuisine, and so they use minced lamb in their dolmades. Egyptians tend to gravitate towards beef, so they stuff their leaves with ground beef instead. Most Egyptian feasts and get-togethers involve a platter of neatly wrapped grape leaves.”

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