I love dolmeh, such an easy finger food and you won't stop eating just for one. The other day, I decide to use a ground chicken .. since I wonder if the taste will as good as using ground beef. Actually I like the taste. I grind my own chicken, so I have the best taste of chicken rather than buy the ready one from the store.
Here is the recipe, is pretty much easy to make but I suggest you to cook the filling day ahead and keep in the refrigerator until you ready to use it so you won't end up stay in the kitchen too long, well the story is different if you like cooking and spend time there :) but I just thinking about practical thing.
1 jar of grape leaves or if you can find the fresh one , you might need about 50 leaves
1 cup rice
1 medium onion
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
250-500 grams ground chicken / ground beef / ground turkey or skip for vegetarian style
1 cup for every fresh herbs such : parsley, cilantro, green onion, dill,
1 tbsp dried taragon
Chop up the onion and fry it in a pan. Add the meat once the onion is golden in color and fry the meat. Add about half a cup of water and allow the meat to cook. You will add salt, pepper, and turmeric to the meat as well. Allow the meat to cook for at least 20. Once the meat is cooked set it aside and allow it to cool.
Heat up water in a pot and boil the yellow split peas for approximately 15 minutes. Then drain and set them aside to cool.
Heat up water in a pot and bring the rice to a boil. Drain the rice and set aside to cool.
Clean any fresh herbs and chop them up slightly using a food processor
Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl, add salt and pepper for taste.
If you are using fresh Grape Leaves you will need to boil them in water for a bit so that they soft. If using Grape Leaves in a jar bought from the store make sure you wash them well so they have no preservatives left on them (it will ruin the flavor if left on the leaves). For this step I did a day ahead so the leaves won't be too wet when I use it.
Take the leaves one at a time and lay them on a surface or cutting board. Take some of the mixture and place it on the leaf and then begin wrapping the leaf.
add oil to the pot you plan on using to cook the Dolmeh in. Take a few leaves that aren’t wrapped and place them on the bottom of the pot. Take all the prepared Dolmeh’s and place them on the bottom of the pot leaving no spaces.
Meanwhile , take the 1/3 cup of lemon juice (or vinegar) and add the sugar to it. Add about a cup of water to the juice/sugar and stir everything together. Once the sugar has dissolved pour the contents all over the Dolmeh’s in the pot.
Place a plate (or something else thats heavy) over the Dolmeh’s to make sure they dont move around. Turn the burner on to medium-low heat and place the lid on top of the pot. Allow the Stuffed Grape Leaves to cook for 30-45 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving, preferably in the fridge overnight