Vegetarian grape leaves (Mehshi Waraa Inab Aate)
MEHSHI WARAA INAB AATE Vegetarian Grape Leaves Stuffed with Fresh Herbs and Rice Every time I start rolling a pot of stuffed grape leaves, I remember coming back home from school to the aroma of stuffed grape leaves in the house. I could not resist the smell and the mouth-watering taste. It might sound like daunting work, but it takes you half an hour to roll them once the ingredients are ready. It is worth giving it a try, it's a treat! 5-6 Servings Preparation: 1 hour Cooking: 1 hour INGREDIENTS: 55-60 grape leaves 1 medium tomato sliced for the bottom The stuffing: 1 cup rice 1 bunch parsley chopped 1/2 bunch mint chopped 1 medium onion or 6-7 green onions chopped small 2 medium tomatoes chopped 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp allspice A dash of cinnamon A dash of cayenne pepper The sauce: 2 medium lemon 1 tsp salt 1/2 cup olive oil
PREPARATION: In a thick-bottomed pot arrange the tomato slices to cover the bottom. The cooking pot should be thick to avoid sticking. In a bowl put the parsley, the mint, the chopped onion, the tomatoes, salt, allspice, cinnamon and finally the cayenne pepper altogether. Wash the rice then add it to all the ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Now it is time to start making the rolls. Wash the leaves gently with warm water then put it in a strainer. On a board, place one grape leaf, with the rough side up, and then put one tablespoon of the stuffing in the top or center of the leaf depending on the size of the leaf. Then, fold the top horizontally over the stuffing. Fold the two sides over the first fold so that the stuffing does not come out, then roll tightly until it reaches the leaf point, as shown in the images. You'll get the hang of it quicker than you think! Place the rolls on top of the sliced tomatoes to cover the bottom. Try to arrange the leaf rolls radially in the cooking pot, this helps you get a great presentation once you flip it onto a plat. Now arrange them in rows until you finish all the layers.
Sprinkle the salt on top, add water then cover with a plate upside down. Make sure the water covers the plate by 5 cm. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 50 minutes, pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the plate and leave it simmering for another 10 minutes. Let it cool for an hour before you serve it.
To turn it over, remove the plate then hold tightly a large flat serving platter on top of the pot. Turn firmly the pot upside down onto the serving plate then pat gently with your hands on the bottom and the sides of the pot, this method helps it flip easily. Keep the pot upside down for a minute then remove the pot slowly. The result: a beautifully arranged delicious pyramid of grape leaves. Stuffed grape leaves are a good source of fiber and many vitamins. A classic to enjoy