Iraqi Dolma recipe

Dish of Iraqi dolma

This recipe for Dolma is shared by Basma Alawee.

Here is the recipe for Iraqi dolma.


2 green peppers, top off, and seeds removed
3 zucchinis, peeled and, (cut in a half length-wise you will be stuffing them)
3 small Italian eggplants,(cut in a half length-wise you will be stuffing them)
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup white rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon each ground cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, nutmeg and cloves
1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves
1 1/2 cup water


  1. Core the inside of the zucchini and eggplant and set the flesh aside.
  2. Salt the insides of the vegetables with 1 teaspoon of salt, and place in a strainer to drain for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, rice, lemon juice, garlic, onions, and half a cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, and spices.
  4. You will use the meat mixture to stuff both the vegetables and the grape leaves.
  5. First, stuff the vegetables and arrange side by side in a deep pan or pot.
  6. Then, stuff the grape leaves. To stuff grape leaves, place one tablespoon of the filling in the center. Fold the sides to the center and fold the leaf over and roll lightly. Arrange them on top of the vegetables with the seam down.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce and water on top of the vegetables and stuffed grape leaves.
  8. Place a oven-safe plate on top of the vegetables to keep them submerged.
  9. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a medium.
  10. Cook for 30 minutes, covered, until rice is cooked.

To serve, cover the pot with a tray or a large platter, and flip the pot on the tray. Serve it with bread and yogurt cucumber-salad.

Yogurt Cucumber-Salad

Ingredients for Iraqi Dolma

2 cucumbers
1 cup greek yogurt
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Fresh mint

Directions for Iraqi Dolma

  1. Peel cucumber and chop into pieces.
  2. Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Add cucumber pieces.

Serve immediately or can keep in fridge for up to one day.

Nepali family of parents and young children
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