This recipe for dolmades is inspired by Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, where a large proportion of traders are of Greek origin.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (70 votes)


  • 220 g (1 cup) long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bunch mint, leaves chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested, 2 juiced, plus extra wedges, to serve
  • 80 vine leaves in brine (see Note), soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled 

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.


Cooling time 4 hours
Soaking time 30 minutes

Cook rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until par-cooked. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then drain again. Cool slightly.

Place rice, allspice, chilli flakes and powder, oregano, mint, parsley, tomatoes, onion and lemon zest in a bowl and mix to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf (leaves should be 12 cm x 12 cm; layer 2 leaves if necessary). Fold in sides and roll up to enclose filling, then place upright in a saucepan. Repeat with remaining rice mixture and leaves, ensuring dolmades are snugly packed in pan.

Whisk lemon juice and oil in a bowl and pour over dolmades. Stuff garlic in between dolmades, then cover and cook over low heat for 1½ hours or until rice and leaves are tender (add extra oil or water if liquid has evaporated). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until cold.  Serve with extra lemon wedges.


• Vine leaves in brine are available from delis, greengrocers and Greek food shops.



Photography Brett Stevens. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Berni Smithies.


As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.