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16 December 2012,21:46 by
Ponmathi Srilekha.S

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Serves :

Preparation Time :
45 minutes

Cooking Time :
45 minutes

Preparation Method :

  • Cut the stems off the leaves and place them in a large bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over and soak for 20 minutes then ease the leaves apart in the water.
  • Drain, soak briefly in cold water and drain again.
  • Saute the onion in the oil until it is soft. Add the meat and cook until colour changes.
  • Add the rice, herbs ,salt and pepper, stirring gently over a low heat until the rice is coated and glazed with the oil.
  • Add the stock and simmer on a medium heat until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Finally mix in the lemon juice. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Line the base of a heavy pan with two or three of the vine leaves.
  • Lay the remainder, vein side up, on a wooden surface and place a teaspoon of the meat mixture in the centre.
  • Roll up each leaf with the sides neatly tucked in, and stack in layers in the pan.
  • Place slices of lemon between each layer. Place a heatproof dish on top of the leaves to hold them down, pour in water almost to the top.
  • cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. The vine leaves should be slightly chewy.
  • Serve lukewarm, sprinkled with some more lemon juice.


  • 50 preserved vine leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Cooking oil
  • 500 grams lean minced lamb or beef
  • 100 grams long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chicken stock
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

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