Stuffed dried vegetables

Stuffed dried vegetables

Ekşili kuru dolma

By
From
Eat Istanbul
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

You’ll find strings of dried vegetables in all spice shops. Aubergines and peppers are the most common and are simply soaked, then stuffed. Their skins are surprisingly strong so don’t be afraid to pack them tightly, although you should always stop 1cm from the top to allow room for the filling to expand whilst cooking. You can use rice, bulgur or meat stuffings. It is well worth bringing strings of these back from Istanbul – not only do they look beautiful hanging in the kitchen but you’ll find yourself addicted to cooking this simple recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 dried aubergines
8 dried peppers
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
250g long-grain white rice, washed
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
1 tablespoon turkish red pepper paste
pinch kirmizi biber flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried mint

Method

  1. Place the dried aubergines and peppers in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave them to soak for a couple of hours. Drain the soaked vegetables in a colander, then place them in a saucepan over medium heat, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain them in a colander, transfer to a bowl and leave them to cool.
  2. To make the stuffing, heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and parsley for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the rice, tomato purée, red pepper paste, Kırmızı biber flakes, cumin, allspice and mint and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in 150ml water and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Allow to cool.
  3. Fill the aubergines and peppers tightly with the stuffing, making sure you stop 1cm from the top to allow the filling to expand during cooking. Pack the stuffed vegetables tightly in a saucepan.
  4. Combine 200ml water, the pomegranate molasses and remaining olive oil in a bowl and pour this over the vegetables, adding a little more water if necessary to almost cover them. Place a heatproof plate on top, weighted down to keep the vegetables submerged. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 30–40 minutes or until the stuffing is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the heat and leave the vegetables to cool before removing the weighted plate. Carefully transfer them with tongs to a serving plate and serve them warm or cold.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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