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Dolmadakia gialantzi close-up with a bitten piece

Dolmadakia Gialantzi - Stuffed Grape Leaves

An iconic Mediterranean dish. Small parcels made out of grape leaves, stuffed with rice herbs and spices. Dolmadakia Gialantzi, as they are called in Greece, is a truly delicious dish served not only as an appetizer, but also as a main.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Appetizer, mezze
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 12
Calories 158 kcal


  • 260 g/9.17oz grape/vine leaves in brine or fresh leaves
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 spring onions
  • 250 g/1¼cup medium-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 720 g/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon juice cut in half


  • Remove the leaves from the jar and rinse them with plenty of water. Place them in a colander and let them dry, or pat dry them with a towel. Cut the stems and arrange the leaves by size. Set aside.
  • In a pan, add half of the olive oil and place it over medium/high heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the rice and stir until it is toasted. Pour the wine mixed with the tomato paste, add the spices and herbs and mix. Lower the heat to medium, pour one cup of vegetable broth and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool. Use the small or broken grape leaves to cover the bottom of the pot that we will use to cook the rolled grape leaves.
  • Place a grape leaf on your working surface, with the seam side up, and put one tablespoon or teaspoon (depending on the size of your leaf) at the bottom end (where the stem used to be). Fold the two lower parts of the leaf into (almost) a triangle and tuck the filling in. Then, fold the two sides of the leaf inwards and roll up to make a log (cigar) that contains the filling.
  • Place a layer of rolled dolmadakia in the pot (over the grape leaves), with the fold side down, tightly the one next to the other. Make a second layer if needed, and cover them with more leaves on the top. Invert a plate and place it on top of them to keep them submerged.
  • Mix the juice of half lemon, with the rest of the olive oil and the vegetable broth and pour it into the pot. Place the pot over low/ medium heat and simmer for about 30- 35 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and take out the plate carefully. Take out the extra layer of leaves. Drizzle the rest of the lemon juice. Allow the dolmadakia to cool (covered with the lid), until warm or at room temperature, and serve.
  • Enjoy!


This amount of leaves and stuffing produce about 50 to 60 pieces.
Use vine/grape leaves stored in brine in a jar or fresh leaves and blanch them in boiling water. 
Do not overfill the leaves with the filling because the rice will expand during cooking.
Don't leave gaps between the rolled grape leaves to prevent them from floating or cracking open while cooking.
Store dolmadakia in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to  5 days.
Serve them with some yogurt or tzatziki, and some extra lemon wedges.
Keyword dolmadakia, dolmades, gluten-free, ntolmadakia, rice, sarmadakia, vegan