Mosul Style Dolmas - Iraq
Considered by many Iraqis to be their national dish, dolmas are vegetables stuffed with rice, meat and spices. Being a northern city, Mosul style dolmas are unique due to the addition of allspice, sumac juice and a tomato-based liquid rather than the clear soup stock favored in southern Iraq. The second largest city in Iraq, Mosul is renowned for their diverse and affordable culinary traditions, affectionately known among Iraqis as the "mother of the poor." Unfortunately, since 2003 the city has experienced a tremendous amount of war, most recently being the capital of ISIS in Iraq. This instability has forced many Mosul residents to flee and establish restaurants elsewhere in both Iraq and neighboring Middle Eastern countries, keeping these food traditions alive. Serves 3-5
- 2 medium onion
- 4 long green peppers
- 6 small zucchini squash
- 12 vine leaves
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 8 ounces ground lamb or beef
- 2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 chicken stock cubes (optional)
- ½ cup sumac juice (2 tablespoons of sumac mixed with ½ cup of water) or ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon salt
Trim the top and bottom of zucchini. Using a vegetable corer, hollow out the inside of the zucchini. Trim the top and bottom of onion, core out the bottom of the onion, then make a slice about ⅓ deep into side of the onion, peel off skin. Using your fingers, slowly pop out the onion rings one at a time, only use rings large enough to stuff. Cut top of pepper, take out the seeds and white layer. Set aside the cored out leftover squash, onion and pepper pieces.
Dice leftover onion, pepper and squash. Sauté together with garlic until soft and the color has changed, about 5 min.
Wash and rinse rice. Combine sautéed vegetables, rice, meat, spices, tomato paste, ½ stock cube and salt. Mix well.
Stuff vegetables, take care not to over stuff as rice will expand while cooking. To make vine leaves, flatten out vine leaf, place a spoonful of filling (roughly one tablespoon) in the center, Now, fold from the stem end of the leaf, fold the right and left side of leaf into the center and roll forward as you tuck in the filling. Roll as tight as possible.
Dilute remaining stock cube (optional) and ¼ cup of tomato sauce in 3-4 cups of hot water. Place stuffed vegetables on the bottom the pot, place vine leaves on top. Pour in stock until almost covering vegetables. Pour ½ cup of sumac juice over everything.
Turn on high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, adjust to low heat and cook for 45 min. Serve hot.