Stuffed Grape Leaves are widespread in several Mediterranean countries and in the Middle East. It has several different names depending on the province. The Greek call it Dolmathes/Dolmas and the Egyptian and the Lebanese call it Mahshi Wara’ inab/Mahshi Wrak enab/Warak enab. But you can call it… Stuffed Grape Leaves!
These Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab) is a delicious Mediterranean dish commonly served as an appetizer! A dish made with a spiced ground beef and spiced rice mixture rolled in grape leaves and simmered in a Lemony broth.
Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 cups short grain rice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 jar grape leaves about 60-70 in brine
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice,
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Prepare Hashweh (the Stuffing)
- In a heated large pan, cook ground beef until browned with olive oil. Season with salt and ground allSpice.
- Add uncooked rice to the cooked ground beef, then drizzle some cinnamon powder and ground black pepper. Mix well until everything is combined.
Preparing the Grape Leaves
- Drain grapevine leaves from the jar and steep them in a large bowl of water.
- Mildly separate the leaves and wash them individually. Pile those leaves on a dish and keep them aside. Best, if you cover them with a moist cloth so they don’t dry out until you are ready to start rolling them.
Stuff, Wrap and Cook
- Place a grape leaf vein-side up on a large plate or cutting board. Using a small paring knife, cut the small stem off. scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture into the center of the grape leaf. Spread into a thin line leaving enough room on both sides of the leaf for rolling. Carefully fold in the sides and roll it like you would when making a wrap.
- Repeat until all the stuffing has been used and place the wrapped grape leaves in a tray.
- The trick is to roll it tightly enough so that it doesn’t loosen while cooking, but not too tightly since the rice needs room to expand as it cooks.
- Line the bottom of a large pot with tomatoes and/or potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Neatly arrange the stuffed and rolled grape leaves in rows, alternating directions, to completely cover the circumference of the pot. Drizzle each layer with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, cover the stuffed leaves. This will hold them down and prevent floating while they are cooking.
- Fill the pot with enough water to cover all the leaves and up to the plate. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and season with a remaining half teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and Cook on medium to high heat until boiling.
- Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 45min to 1 hour. To check if grape leaves are done, take a grape leaf out and try it.
- Once the grape leaves are done cooking, remove from heat and let cool uncovered for 30 minutes. Flip the pot over onto a serving platter. There should very little lemon water left. Serve warm!
Recipe: There are so many variations of this grape leaves recipe depending on the region adapted from. There is no absolute one way to make this dish, but this particular recipe is passed down from mainly the Lebanese culture and used to be enjoyed by Lebanese families for many years.
Storage: Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. It should last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Make Ahead Tips: The Hashweh stuffing can be made up to 2 days in advance. The grape leaves can also be washed from the brine in advance to minimize last minute work.
Sourcing: The jars of grape leaves can be found at any Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients. It can also be bought on amazon.com. Few favorite brands: Orlando or Cortas.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However, if you prefer to use ground lamb instead of ground beef, that works as well!
Equipment: If you have a pressure cooker, the grape leaves can be made with that. Just pack them rolled grape leaves in the pressure cooker, add the water, close and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at the first pressure mark.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used.
Serving: 10g | Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.5mg