Recipe: Stuffed Grape Leaves (Mahshi Waraq Inab)

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘A HEALTHY VEGETARIAN FEAST‘.

Swiss chard, kohlrabi leaves, or other vegetable leaves may be substituted for the grape leaves. Also, the same stuffing used in cabbage rolls may be substituted. (Serves 8)


  • 1 pound jar preserved grape leaves
  • 1 cup lentils, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste, mixed with 2 cups water and 1 tsp oregano

1) Thoroughly wash out salt from grape leaves, then set aside.

2) Prepare stuffing by combining all remaining ingredients, except for the salt and tomato juice.

3) Place 1 heaping Tbsp of stuffing, depending on size, on wide end of each leaf, then roll tightly, making sure to tuck in ends when rolling. Continue until all leaves are rolled.

4) Place any extra leaves on the bottom of a saucepan, then arrange rolls over top of the leaves (if any), side by side in alternating layers.

5) Sprinkle salt over top, then pour tomato paste mixture over rolls.

6) Cover with inverted plate*, then add enough water to barely cover plate.

7) Bring to boil, then cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until rice is done.

8) Serve hot or cold as main course, or as a snack.

(*Use any type of dishwasher-safe flat plate but not ceramic; CorningWare is a good option.)

Habeeb Salloum’s articles have been published in the Toronto Star, Backwoods Home Magazine, Forever Young Information Magazine, and Vegetarian Journal, among others. His most recent book Asian Cooking Made Simple – A Culinary Journey Along the Silk Road and Beyond is available at amazon at:

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