Dolmas

Serves 4
Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

½ onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups long grain white rice, soaked for at least 1 hour, drained, rinsed
200g minced beef
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground
1 tbsp dried mint
½ bunch dill, chopped
½ bunch mint, chopped

1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Preserved vine leaves
3 cabbage leaves
1l vegetable stock or water

Greek yoghurt, to serve

Method

Heat a large non-stick frypan over high heat and add the onion, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Add the ground fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon and dried mint. Sweat off for a few minutes until the onion has softened.

Add the mince to the pan, breaking it up with the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes until brown all over.

Add the fresh mint and dill and rice and stir everything together. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the chopped zucchini, onion and tomato in the base of a large pot or casserole.

Dry the vine leaves gently with a paper towel. Lay the leaves out flat on a bench and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of each. Fold in the sides then roll up tightly to secure. Repeat with the remaining filling and vine leaves until all is used up.

Place the dolmades, seam-side down, into the pot on top of the vegetables. Pack them into tight layers then cover with cabbage leaves. Pour in enough stock or water to just cover then cover with a plate inside the pot to keep everything tightly packed. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hour.

Once cooked, remove the dolmas with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve with Greek yoghurt.