This recipe for Dolmades Stuffed Grape Leaves is made with a rice filling.
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Mix the uncooked rice, chopped onion and red peppers, tomato paste water, allspice, salt and pepper in a bowl and combine thoroughly.
Prepare the grape leaves: If you are using raw grape leaves, bring some water to a boil with a dash of salt. Once boiling, add grape leaves and boil for about 15 minutes to soften.
Carefully remove and place them in a cold-water bath, leaving them to soak until youre ready to use them.
OR If you are using prepared grape leaves then you can begin.
Lay each grape leaf flat on your work surface. Place about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing mixture in the middle of the grape leaf. The size of the scoop will depend on the size of your leaves.
Spread the mix into an even-sized log along the bottom (stem end) of the open-faced leaf, leaving about 1/4-inch space on all sides so you can more easily fold the leaf in.
If the stem of the leaf still has a little hard stem sticking from it, remove it.
Fold over the mixture from the stem end and tuck in the empty sides toward the center.
Keep folding until you have a complete roll.
Repeat the same process until the mixture and/or leaves are all used.
Layer the rolled grape leaves in a pot, making sure to lay them close to each other.
Pour 2 cups of water into the pot, drizzle the olive oil evenly on top of the dolmades, and cover.
Bring the water up to a boil, and then reduce to simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the rice has cooked.
Check every 20-30 minutes – whenever you see the water has been absorbed, add about 1 cup more at a time.
When the dolmades are ready, remove them one by one as they are delicate when hot.
Enjoy either slightly cooled with some yogurt or warmed tomato dipping sauce or you can refrigerate and eat cold.