Dolma recipe: how to cook dolma, step-by-step recipe, ingredients, serving, photo

Dolma in grape leaves: a delicious dish for the whole family

Dolma in grape leaves: a delicious dish for the whole family

Dolma is the younger sister of cabbage rolls. Only if the latter, when they want to praise, are called big men or heroes, then dolma is, rather, a sophisticated young lady. Miniature and neat, it consists of minced meat and rice, wrapped in a beautiful dress made of young grape leaves.

The name of the dish comes from the ancient word “tolm”, which means grapevine. That’s why in Armenia dolma is sometimes called tolma. Dolma has long taken pride of place in cookbooks of many cuisines around the world. True, in English-speaking countries they call it without any imagination: “stuffed leaves,” which means “stuffed leaves.”

Dolma is especially loved in Armenia. Without exaggeration, you can find this dish in every restaurant. Still would! Dolma is a real fireworks display of flavors: sweet, sour, and meaty! Wah!


  1. Features of preparing dolma in Armenia
  2. Ingredients
  3. Cooking step by step
  4. Competent presentation

Features of preparing dolma in Armenia

For the right dolma, the main thing is to choose the leaves wisely. Armenians say that the leaves of the white grape varieties make the dish more delicate and mild in taste, but the leaves of the dark varieties are tougher and more tart.

Important advice - the leaves should be young, without fluff. Therefore, housewives collect them in the spring, as soon as the buds appear. Then the leaves are the most tender, without damage or insect bites. For the winter, the main ingredient for dolma is removed from the stalks, put in sterile jars, poured with salted boiling water and stored ... until needed.


When cooking, dolma is usually wrapped in a tube, no sparing of greens is spared, and served with matsun, a national fermented milk drink. To reveal the widest range of flavors, sweet and sour seasonings are added to dolma. Now we’ll tell you in more detail how to prepare dolma with your own hands, even if they are not of Armenian origin.


  • 600 g grape leaves;
  • 100 g butter;
  • 500 g minced meat (mix of lamb and beef);
  • 4 tbsp. l. rice;
  • 1 onion;
  •  salt to taste;
  • ground black pepper to taste;
  • 1 bunch of mint;
  • 1 bunch of cilantro;
  • 1 bunch of dill;
  • crushed cumin.


Cooking step by step

Let's start with the filling

  1. Wash and chop the greens. From mint you only need the leaves. Stems - overboard.
  2. Add chopped greens to the minced meat.
  3. Do the same with finely chopped onions and uncooked rice.
  4. Lastly, add butter and spices to the minced meat. Now all that remains is to mix everything well.

Let's deal with the leaves

  1. Wash young, juicy, palm-sized grape leaves.
  2. Pour boiling water over the leaves for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from water and remove stems if you did not do so during preparation.

Let's make friends between "yin" and "yang"

  1. A mixture of minced meat, rice, onions and herbs should be wrapped in prepared grape leaves. To do this, place the sheet with the smooth side facing the table and the rough side facing the sky.
  2. Place some minced meat on the sheet. We first cover it with the side of the leaf from which the tip was cut off. Next, we wrap the sides of the sheet and twist the dolma into the remaining part. Voila: the result is the same tube. Didn't work out? Do not despair. The first dolma is always lumpy!
  3. Put empty grape leaves on the bottom of a saucepan with a thick bottom (for this purpose, you can use those that turned out to be torn or too small). We stack the resulting tubes on top into several layers. We press tightly.
  4. We cover the dolma with a plate or dish and put some weight on it to prevent the young ladies from “undressing” during the cooking process. Fill the dolma with boiled water so that the top layer is clearly visible.
  5. Bring the dish to a boil and reduce the heat. Cook until the water from the pan evaporates.
  6. Let it brew for about 10 minutes (this is necessary for the dolma to absorb all the broth and become even juicier).

Competent presentation

Traditional Armenian dolma is not only a pleasure for the stomach, but also a joy for the eyes. Use the following serving tips:

  1. It is best to choose a large round plate for serving. Thus, you can place all servings on one dish in the center of the table: both old and young will reach.
  2. Be sure to serve dolma hot. In this form it is the main dish.
  3. Grapes and fresh herbs will be an excellent decoration. In addition, do not forget to accompany the dolma with matsun. It will help reveal the taste. By the way, we wrote about how to choose the most authentic matsun in a store here.

Photo: KamranAydinov

Dolma is a find for a nutritionist. Your body will thank you for the abundance of fiber, and your taste buds will definitely be delighted. With a spectacular dish with grape leaves, you can surprise guests for some holiday, or you can include it in your weekly diet: at a cost, dolma is more than an affordable dish.

If you want to learn how to cook dolma and other traditional Armenian dishes from professionals, come to free culinary master classes from Move2Armenia Culture.

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Dolma in grape leaves: a delicious dish for the whole family
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