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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuffed Grape Leaves-Vegetarian ورق عنب ملفوف ونباتية

Every family has its own stuffed grape leaves recipe. My mother always cooked it during Lent, but you can cook it and serve it at a room temperature as an appetizer or for picnics. It could last a few days in the refrigerator. 
If you are using fresh grape leaves from your garden, make sure to rinse them and put them in a bowl of hot water to wilt for 10 minutes. Drain them in the colander, and rinse them in cold water.
If you are using the grape leaves from a jar, remove leaves from the jar and rinse them and put in colander to drain.
Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Arabian spice (combination of allspice, cinnamon and black pepper)
1 medium tomato, chopped
½ cup chopped dill weed (optional)
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup pine nuts
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup white rice
Juice of 2 lemons
In a skillet, heat oil and sauté the onions and garlic. Add salt and spices. Add chopped tomatoes, dill, and peas and stir. Add rice, pine nuts, raisins and tomato sauce and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (You can prepare filling the day before).
Remove the grape leaves from the jar, rinse them and put in a colander to drain. Arrange the leaves the top side down on the cutting board and spoon a tablespoon of the filling on the stem side of the leaf. Roll the leaf over the filling. Turn the sides of the leaf towards the center, and roll the leaf to the end.
Arrange in a deep pan. Pour 1 ½ cup of water and lemon juice over the grape leaves.  Place a heat proof plate on top of the leaves to keep them submerged while cooking. Bring to a boil covered, and reduce heat to a medium. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the rice grains are cooked.