Dolmades Classic Greek Sarma Recipe (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Experience a taste of the Mediterranean with our classic Greek Sarma Dolmades recipe.

By xp5u9
August 17, 2022
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In this article, we will be sharing a classic Greek Sarma recipe that has been passed down through generations. We will guide you through each step so that you can recreate this savory dish in the comfort of your own home. Whether you are new to Greek cuisine or simply looking to expand your cooking skills, this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests.

Sarma is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed by Greeks for centuries. It consists of grape leaves wrapped around a filling made with rice, herbs, and sometimes meat. This delicious meal can be served as an appetizer or main course and is perfect for sharing with family and friends.

What is Classic Greek Sarma?

When it comes to Greek cuisine, one can never go wrong with sarma. A classic dish that has been enjoyed for centuries, sarma is a savory roll of grape leaves filled with rice, herbs and spices.

The origins of sarma can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire which ruled over Greece for many centuries. The word “sarma” actually means “wrapping” in Turkish, which reflects the technique used to prepare this dish. However, over time, Greeks have put their own spin on this classic recipe by adding local herbs and spices to make it uniquely theirs.

Dolmades Classic Greek Sarma Recipe

How to Make Dolmades Classic Greek Sarma Recipe?

Grape leaves are most commonly used in the dish dolma, which is popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Greek stuffed grape leaves, also known as dolmades, are a well-known Greek delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries. The dish consists of tender grape leaves stuffed with an aromatic mixture of rice, herbs, and spices. It’s a classic Greek Sarma recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation.

If you’re looking for an authentic Greek culinary experience, then this classic Greek Sarma recipe is definitely worth trying. Not only is it delicious but it’s also rich in history and tradition.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use a variety of fillings to suit your taste preferences, making it an excellent dish to serve at any gathering. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or want to add some meat to your dolmades, there are plenty of options available.

In Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria, grape leaves are also prepared from various vegetables, such as stuffed eggplants, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed onions, stuffed cabbage, and stuffed zucchini.

Today grape leaves dolmades recipe is a popular dish across the globe and can be found in Balkan, Middle Eastern, Southern Caucasian, North African, Persian, Mesopotamian, Israeli, Turkish, and even Central Asian cuisine.

When placing a pot over medium to high heat, it’s important to choose the right size and material for your needs. A heavy-bottomed pot with a lid will help retain moisture and distribute heat evenly throughout the food. Stainless steel pots are durable and can handle high temperatures without warping or discoloring. Non-stick pots are ideal for cooking delicate foods that might stick or burn in other types of pots.

The process of making these stuffed grape leaves may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it.

Grape leaves can be used fresh or canned, and they can be found in most grocery stores. If you are lucky enough to have a grapevine in your yard, you can even pick your own leaves to use!

When it comes to cooking vine leaves, there’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly cooked ones. But have you ever had the experience of biting into a vine leaf that was too tough or too bitter? If so, chances are that the leaves weren’t prepared correctly. One crucial step in preparing vine leaves is to drain them and quickly drop them into cold water.

If you love the flavor of grape leaves and dolmades, you’re going to love this delicious and healthy grape leaves dolmades. They’re a great appetizer or main course, and they’re also perfect for a potluck or party.

Dolmades Classic Greek Sarma Recipe

Classic Greek Sarma Recipe Dolmades (Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Get ready to enjoy the traditional flavors of our classic Greek Sarma Dolmades!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 large sauce pot
  • large bowls
  • 1 Cutting board


  • 1 lb fresh vine leaves
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice (rinsed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • ½ cup dill (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup mint (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 bunches spring onions
  • 400 g water
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4-5 slices lemon
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)

For the sauce:

  • fresh black pepper (finely chopped)
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • ¼ bunch  dill (finely chopped)
  • 500 g plain yogurt


  • To make dolmas, you will need to prepare the vine leaves first. Washing vine leaves and cutting their stems is an essential step in preparing the popular Mediterranean dish known as Dolmades.
  • Start by washing the leaves thoroughly under running water and removing any dirt or debris. Then trim off the ends of the stem with scissors or a sharp knife. It's best to work in bunches so that you can be efficient with your time. Once all the stems are trimmed, put water in a pot to boil on high heat. When it comes to a boil, put about a dozen vine leaves at a time into the pot for about 1-2 minutes each until they turn bright green and become pliable.
  • Draining your vine leaves after boiling or steaming them removes any excess moisture and stops the cooking process. This ensures that the leaves don't become too soft and lose their shape. Once they're drained, immediately submerge them in cold water to halt any residual heat from continuing to cook them further.
  • Over medium to high heat, place a pot and add the spring onion, onion and garlic along with ½ the olive oil.
  • Sauté until the onion softens and caramelizes nicely for 10-15 minutes. Then add the rice, add the water and stir. Lower heat and simmer until the rice soaks up the water or for about 5 minutes. When ready leave aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix well the spring onions, dill, parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add to the mixture.
  • If you have ripped or broken vine leaves you can use them to spread at the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a vine leaf on a cutting board with veins facing up and add 1 tbsp of filling in the center, fold the sides of the vine leaf and roll to complete.
  • Repeat with all the vine leaves and then transfer them to the pot by placing them next to each other.
  • You can add more rows of stuffed grape vines if need. Add the remaining olive oil and use a plate to cover the stuffed vine leaves.
  • Pour water until you cover the vines and simmer for 40-50mins so then the rice can be cooked
  • Prepare the yogurt sauce by mixing the ingredients.
  • When the Dolmades stuffed vine leaves are ready, serve them with yogurt sauce.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Greece
Keyword: grape leaves, Sarma

Explore More Sarma Recipes?

Did you make this classic Greek sarma recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @thebalkanrecipes on Instagram and hashtag it #thebalkanrecipes.

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