Grape leaves are an innovative and appropriate dish on the Ramadan table. Don't miss the experience
Recipe by: Goody Kitchen
Wash the grape leaves and rinse them clean. Set aside to drain. If using fresh picked leaves, blanch in boiling, salted water with a tablespoon of vinegar for 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool before handling.
In a large pot, add the oil and garlic slices over very low heat. Allow the garlic to infuse the oil, then gently lay down the meat pieces, if using. Layer the potatoes evenly along the bottom as well.
Turn up the heat and sear the meat and potatoes on one side. Turn over each piece, and turn off the heat. Place the tomato slices if using.
Combine all the stuffing ingredients in a medium bowl.
Take one leaf at a time, smooth side down, and fill the leaf with about 1 tsp of stuffing in a line along the bottom where the stem was removed.
Fold up the bottom sides and slowly roll upward, keeping a tight roll and folding up the sides as you go. Place the rolled leaf in the pot, with the seam side down. Continue with all the grape leaves, creating an even layer of rolled leaves before starting a second layer. Wedge the garlic slices for the cooking sauce in between rolled leaves, and between layers. If using stuffed zucchinis or onions, wedge these in between leaves in the top and bottom layers, as it holds all the stuffed grape leaves in place.
Once all the stuffing is complete, combine all the cooking sauce ingredients except the olive oil and mix well. Pour evenly all over the pot, covering all the mahshy. Drizzle the olive oil evenly on top.
Set the pot on the stove on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Be sure to add water, if it dries up or the mahshy will burn on the bottom. Preheat the oven to 400 as this cooks.
Once the mahshy has simmered for 20-30 minutes, set the pot into the oven, on the middle rack, uncovered. Be sure you can see enough sauce from the top, or it will burn and dry out. Drizzle more olive oil on top, and set some lemon slices as garnish. The lemons look gorgeous once roasted!
Remove the pot after 15-20 minutes, ensuring it never dries out of liquid. Enjoy hot with yogurt sauce and pita bread!