Dolmeh Barg Mo (Iranian Stuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe

Tangy grape leaves are stuffed with a savory beef and rice filling, then steamed with lemon juice in this vibrant, addictive snack.
February 22, 2021, 12:00pm
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

<p>Makes about 40<br>Prep time: 15 minutes<br>Total time: 3 ½ hours</p>


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pound|450 grams ground beef
⅔ cup|160 grams basmati rice, rinsed
½ cup|135 grams split green peas
½ cup|25 grams fresh dill, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
1 jar grape leaves, rinsed, drained, and stems removed
½ cup|125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup|65 grams granulated sugar


  1. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the  scallions, garlic, and onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in the rice, peas, dill, salt, cinnamon, saffron, and 2 cups|500 ml water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  2. Working with one leaf at a time, flatten the leaf and place about 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture in the center. Fold the bottom of the leaf up and over the filling, fold in the sides, and roll into a tight cylinder. Repeat until you’ve used up all the filling.
  3. Lay extra leaves over the bottom of a 6-quart Dutch oven, and then tightly layer the dolmeh, seam-side down, on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the dolmeh and cover tightly. Cook over medium-low for 45 minutes. Cool completely, preferably overnight, before serving.

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