Turkey – Delicious Yaprak Dolma (Rice filling Covered in A Vine Leaf)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

This is one of the yummiest light lunch in Istanbul. You have never heard of rice covered in a vine leaf. This sounds a little weird but when you taste it you are gonna be a big fan of it. The rice filling is so good and when it is covered in a vine leaf it enhances the flavor of rice. This is served as breakfast with a cup of coffee, like lunch with curd, as a snack, and a fancy dinner. The shape of it is like little cylinders and it has a unique way of rolling the rice in the vine leaf. The other name of it is ” Yaprak Sarma” sarma means wrapped in English. Some people do not like vine leaf so if you do not like vine leaf you can roll rice in cabbage leaves. You can serve this with a different type of suzma (curd) :

  • garlic curd
  • cumin curd
  • salt curd
  • sweet curd
  • simple curd
  • ginger curd

In this dish, the rice is cooked with tomatoes, a bunch of parsley, onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and other spices. This vine leaf is easily available in the market but if this not available you can use cabbage leaf also. But the specialty of this dish is the vine leaf. This dish is part of Turkish Aegean cuisine. some people also add white cheese in it but it is not part of the dish. The texture of the rice is soft and the texture of the leaf is a little hard and raw but tastes amazing. This dish is available on roads at street vendors and in big restaurants. The color of it is so beautiful like grass green. You can make different types of rice but the authentic recipe is in which the rice has a lot of parsley in it, tomatoes, onions, and spices. But you can add different rice too.

  • Vegetable rice
  • chicken rice
  • beef browth rice
  • chciken browth rice
  • boiled rice
  • spicy rice etc

Nutrition list

  • calories 223 g
  • carbs 18 g
  • fat 10 g
  • protein 4 g

Ingredients of the dish

  • 25 vine leaf
  • 10 oz lamb mince
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 100 g bulgur rice
  • 1 bunch of dill (chopped)
  • 1 bunch of parsley ( chopped)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dry coriander


  • Take a bowl and add the lamb mince, onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and fry it just for 5 minutes. Do not overcook the meat. If you cook it too much it gonna ooze out of the leaf and spread on the plate.
  • Take a cooking pot and fill it with water and boil the rice.
  • When the rice is boiled and the meat is cooked combine them together and mix well.
  • Now take a leaf and put 1 tbsp full of rice mixture in it. Do not overfill. Now turn the leaf inside and try to make a mini cylinder shape.
  • Now take a pan and place yaprak dolma in a pan and fry it and also make sure to put a plate on the frying pan. After 15 minutes dish is ready.

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