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Warah Enab - Stuffed grape leaves

(Egypt / 40 leaves/ all seasons/ 60 minutes)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked traditional white rice
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • One 16 oz jar of grape leaves
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • Round sliced carrots, frozen or fresh (enough to cover the bottom of a 3 quart pot, approximately 15 carrot slices, depending on their size)

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients except grape leaves, tomato sauce, water, and carrots in a bowl.
2. Remove grape leaves from jar, unfold, and rinse with water. Place grape leaves with the rough side up, one at a time, on a large, flat plate. Be sure that the pointy parts of the leaf are directed away from you and the flatter edges and stem are towards you.
3. Place one teaspoon of the mixture on the bottom of the leaf, near the stem, and arrange it lengthwise using your fingers.
4. First roll the flat edges near the stem upwards and tuck them slightly under the filling. Then applying pressure to keep the leaves rolled tightly, tuck one side at a time of the two parts of the leaf pointing outwards.
5. Now, roll the rest of the way upwards still applying pressure to keep the leaf tight.
6. Cook sliced carrots in water until tender. Cover the bottom layer of a large pot with these carrots. Begin layering the stuffed leaves above the carrots and be sure that they are packed tightly together; otherwise they may fall apart during cooking. Each layer of leaves should be in varying directions across the pot. Pour the tomato sauce and water over the leaves and bring the sauce to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to medium, and place a flat plate (glass or stoneware) upside down over the top layer of leaves, and press down as hard as you can. Leave the plate in place during cooking. Cover the pot with its cover as well, and cook for 40-45 minutes. Check one leaf to see if rice has cooked fully. Serve warm.

Kid’s participation
Suggest, always at the discretion of the parent or responsible adult and depending on age, the child to wash and peal the Carrots. Let the child measure the portions and prepare for Parent to slice, child to help roll the mixture into leaves

Presentation
Serve by placing on a platter, garnish with lemon

Nutritional & cultural curiosities
Grape Leave’s (aka Dolma in Greek cuisine) is a typical menu item at Egyptian,  Lebanese, Greek or Turkish restaurants however more countries in the Middle East have their own versions of it.
Stuffed Grape Leaves can be served alone as a full meal, or it can also be served as a “Mezza” appetizer along with other dishes.

Stuffed grape leaves make nutrient-dense meals.
Vitamins A and K
Grape leaves boost your intake of vitamins, and provide a particularly rich source of the fat-soluble vitamins A and K. Vitamin A helps your cells develop, guiding their development from non-functional immature cells into specialized cells that become a part of functional tissue. Your bones, skin, digestive tract and visual system all rely on vitamin A to function. Vitamin K helps control blood clotting. Healthy levels of the vitamin allow you to form blood clots after an injury, so that the clot can prevent blood flow out of the wound and limit your blood loss. A 1-cup serving of grape leaves contains 3,853 international units of vitamin A, your entire day's recommended intake of the nutrient, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. A cup of grape leaves also contains 15.2 micrograms of vitamin K, 17 percent of the recommended intake for women or 13 percent for men, according to the LPI.
Calcium and Iron
Grape leaves also provide you with calcium and iron, two essential minerals. Your body needs calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong, and also relies on the mineral for nerve and muscle function. Each cup of grape leaves contains 51 milligrams of calcium, about 5 percent of the calcium you need each day, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The iron in grape leaves promotes healthy circulation -- the mineral helps your blood carry oxygen throughout your body. A 1-cup serving of the leaves provides 0.37 milligrams of iron -- 4 percent of the daily iron requirements for men, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, or 2 percent for women.

Useful tip
It goes well with a side of plain yogurt.
 

Publish date 14/04/2014 16:21
Last updated 14/04/2014 16:36