Dolmadakia yalantzi – Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice

Dolmadakia yalantzi

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Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to the Mediterranean with our Dolmadakia yalantzi – Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice. Transport yourself to the sun-kissed shores and experience the flavors of Greece in this delightful dish. Imagine tender vine leaves, lovingly filled with a fragrant rice mixture, bursting with herbs and spices. Join us as we unravel the secrets of this traditional recipe and discover the joy of creating these flavorful and satisfying vine leaf rolls.

Dolmadakia yalantzi with vine leaves are one of the most exquisite and gastronomically sophisticated appetizers of the Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. I am not referring to Greek cuisine since the dish in related forms and executions exists not only in the Balkans and the Middle East where the Ottoman Empire dominated for years, but even in central Asia. Its obviously Turkish names such as dolmades, sarmades or yaprakia, refer to a dish born in the Ottoman Empire, the roots of the dish are ultimately ancient Greek. In ancient Greece, dolmades were called thria, with the difference that the leaf that wrapped them was made of figs. I guess when the fig leaf stopped serving as sexy underwear, he started a career in gastronomy!

Greek classic Dolmadakia yalantzi

Welcome to our kitchen, where we love to explore the rich tapestry of global cuisine. Today, we are excited to share with you a beloved Greek classic Dolmadakia yalantzi, or Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice. Picture delicate vine leaves, carefully blanched to preserve their vibrant green color, lovingly filled with a tantalizing rice mixture. Each bite reveals a harmonious blend of flavors, as the nutty rice is complemented by the aromatic herbs, tangy lemon, and gentle warmth of spices. Join us on this culinary adventure as we guide you through the steps to create these little parcels of Mediterranean bliss.


  • 300 gr. of vine leaves, approximately
  • 2 teacups of rice
  • 6 teacups of onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tea cups of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of dill and spearmint, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • pepper


  1. Boil the vine leaves in water just enough not to lose their crispiness.
  2. Chop the onions in the blender machine and bring them to a simmer in a saucepan. Add salt and sugar.
  3. When the juices have evaporated, add 1 teacup of oil and saute lightly.
  4. Allow it cool to down.
  5. Wash the rice and bring it to a simmer in a glass of water.
  6. When it cools down, add the onion, the herbs, the spearmint, the dill, and a pinch of salt.
  7. Open each leaf, put some mixture on it, roll it up and put it in a pan.
  8. Mix 1 teacup of oil, 1 teacup of water, the lemon and the pepper and pour the mixture on the vine leaf rolls in the pan.
  9. Cover the rolls with a few vine leaves, put a plate on top and cook them on medium fire.
  10. When cooked, remove the plate and let them cool down.
  11. Put them in the fridge and on the following day, place them on a serving platter.
Dolmadakia yalantzi

Features of the recipe

The recipe of Dolmadakia yalantzi will take a total of about two hours, with the wrapping being about 40′-60′, depending on your skill. The unique but important difficulty of the recipe is precisely in the wrapping of the small dolmadaki, where I have of course listed detailed instructions, but you will find the rhythm and technique in practice. Otherwise there is no technical difficulty and as long as you follow the instructions you are absolutely sure to achieve the taste, even if you have mishaps in the wrapping.

Dolmadakia yalantzi

The only thing you will have in mind is not to wrap the dolmadaki too tightly because although the rice is half-boiled when wrapping, it can still increase in size during cooking and tear the vine leaf.

The last bite of Dolmadakia yalantzi

As you take the final bite of our Dolmadakia yalantzi – Vine Leaves Stuffed with Rice, you are filled with a sense of satisfaction and a taste of Greece. The combination of tender vine leaves and the flavorful rice filling has created a dish that is both comforting and full of character. Each roll is a testament to the art of Greek cuisine, celebrating the beauty of simple ingredients and traditional flavors. We hope this recipe has inspired you to explore the world of Greek cooking and to embrace the joy of recreating these flavorful vine leaf rolls in your own kitchen. So, gather your loved ones, savor the Dolmadakia yalantzi, and let the taste of the Mediterranean transport you to the sun-drenched shores of Greece. Enjoy!

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