Dol­mades are de­li­cious

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - with Maggie Cooper Con­tact Maggie at mag­gies.col­[email protected]­pond.com

DOLMADAKIA, or dol­mades as we call them of­ten in Aus­tralia, are de­li­cious lit­tle parcels that come to us via sev­eral Mid­dle East­ern and Mediter­ranean coun­tries.

Gen­er­ally, meat­less dol­mades are served cold, while those that in­clude meat are served hot. It’s not a hard and fast rule; when I make to­day’s recipe, I of­ten en­joy the left­overs cold the next day.

Vine leaves are widely avail­able in delis and spe­cialty food stores; they are pre­served in brine and must be well rinsed be­fore use.

Dol­mades are’t dif­fi­cult to make, but they are fid­dly so leave your­self plenty of time to pre­pare them.

Chicken and pis­ta­chio dol­mades

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: half a bunch mint, di­vided 1 cup plain yo­gurt 2 1/2 cups long grain rice, un­cooked 250g chicken mince 2 tbs flat-leaf pars­ley, chopped 1/2 cup pis­ta­chio ker­nels, chopped 3 green onions, chopped 2 tbs olive oil juice of half a le­mon 1 cup canned crushed toma­toes 2 tbs tomato paste pre­served grapevine leaves, stalks re­moved 3 toma­toes, sliced thickly 1 le­mon, sliced 2 cloves gar­lic, sliced freshly ground black pep­per, to taste ex­tra pars­ley and mint, to serve

METHOD: Finely chop half the mint; stir three ta­ble­spoons through the yo­gurt, cover and re­frig­er­ate. Com­bine the re­main­der of the chopped mint with the rice, mince, chopped pars­ley, pis­ta­chios, green onions, oil, le­mon juice, crushed toma­toes and tomato paste.

Rinse the grape leaves well to re­move brine. Place two ta­ble­spoons of the mix­ture, in a finger shape, to­ward the stalk end of a leaf. Roll up, tuck­ing in the ends as you go. The rice will ex­pand as it cooks.

Line the bot­tom of a heavy-based saucepan with tomato, le­mon and gar­lic slices, and any torn vine leaves. Pack the dol­mades in leav­ing a lit­tle space for ex­pan­sion.

Weigh down with a plate and add boil­ing wa­ter to the rim of the plate. Cover and sim­mer for 30 min­utes.

Sea­son to taste with pep­per and serve with minted yo­gurt and ex­tra mint and pars­ley.

PHOTO: 123RF

Dolmadakia are de­li­cious lit­tle parcels with a savoury fill­ing.

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