Recipe: Stuffed Grape Leaves with Sumac (Mihshee Waraq Inab ma’ Summaq)

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘The Tart Taste of Sumac‘.

Although rolling grape leaves is a tedious task, the end justifies the means. These are heavenly. (Serves about 6)


  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp dried sumac fruit
  • 1 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 jar grape leaves (16 oz), drained and thoroughly washed
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato juice

1) Make a stuffing by mixing lentils, 1/4 cup of the oil, 1 tablespoon of sumac, plus the rice, mint, onions, coriander, salt, cumin, pepper, allspice and cayenne.

2) Place about 1 heaping tablespoon on each leaf and roll, making sure to tuck in the ends.

3) Place a few of the torn or unused grape leaves on the bottom of a saucepan, then arrange the rolls over top of them in alternating layers, sprinkling the remaining sumac in between, then pour the remaining oil and tomato juice over the rolls.

4) Once the rolls are tightly fitted into the saucepan, place an inverted oven-proof plate over top of them.

5) Next, pour water into the saucepan until the water covers the inverted plate (this is done in order to keep the rolls in place and to avoid any of them opening).

6) Once the water has come to a boil, cover the saucepan with a lid and reduce heat to low.

7) Simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour, or until rice inside the rolls is tender but still intact.

8) Serve hot or cold.

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