These Turkish dolmades are a labour of love so organise a couple of people to help you roll! That said they are undeniably delicious and this recipe is well worth the effort.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (11 votes)


  • vine leaves, either fresh and blanched or preserved (remember to rinse)
  • 2-3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced


  • 2½ cups long grain rice
  • 250 g chicken mince
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint 
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped continental parsley 
  • ½ cup ground pistachios
  • 1 tsp Turkish capsicum paste (biber salca) (see Note)
  • 3 spring onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup tomato concasse
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • minted yoghurt, to serve 
  • finely crushed pistachios, to serve 
  • extra finely chopped parsley and mint, to serve



Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Mix together all the ingredients for the filling, making sure the mix is not too wet and not too dry. Place a small quantity in the centre of a vine leaf, starting at the stem end, and roll into a small, fat cigar, tucking in the side edges as you roll.

Line a large, heavy-based saucepan with tomato slices, any torn vine leaves, the sliced lemon and the garlic. Pack the vine leaf parcels into the pan, fitting them together snugly but allowing a little room for them to expand.

Place a large plate over the top and fill the pan with water to the rim of the plate. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve with minted yoghurt, fine crushed pistachios and a little extra parsley and mint.


Available from Turkish stores. You could substitute ajvar (Macedonian capsicum paste).