Sarma, a Turkish speciality with vine leaves
Sarma is a specialty of Turkish cuisine made with grape leaves and rice. The sarma can be used as a cold appetizer, although it is quite rich, given the presence of rice. Nonetheless, it’s not very heavy or caloric. The addition of fats is limited, as is that of seasonings. Turkish sarma is a simple, popular and traditional recipe, so it’s no wonder the relatively small number of ingredients.
Here are the ingredients to prepare a good sarma at home:
– 30 vine leaves;
– 250 gr. of long rice,
– juice of one lemon,
– a few mint leaves and a sprig of dill,
– 1 onion,
– 1 glass of water,
– 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,
– 1 pinch of salt and pepper.
Preparation of sarma: start with the vegetables. Peel the onion and cut it into thin slices. Then wash the herbs and make a mince with the mint. Now pour the olive oil into a non-stick pan and fry the onion over low heat. Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes, then add the water, mint, dill, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, without raising the heat too much. Carefully wash the vine leaves and let them dry, then boil them in water for 5 minutes. Finally, drain the leaves, being careful not to break them, and dry them gently with a clean rag. Arrange the leaves on a cutting board and on each place a little cooked rice in the central part.
Fold the outer edges of each leaf over the rice, then roll them up to secure the filling, forming a kind of roll. Place the vine leaf and rice rolls in a very large pot, without overlapping them. Sprinkle everything with plenty of lemon juice and pour plenty of cold water to cover the rolls. Cook everything with a lid, until the water is absorbed. Before consuming the sarmas, let them cool. The sarmas are usually accompanied with good Turkish yogurt and are eaten cold.