Warak DawaliWarak Dawali

Warak Dawali

Stuffed Grape Leaves

It may seem intimidating but it isn’t difficult to make this recipe at home, though it is a bit of a time commitment. Don’t worry if your rolls don’t end up elegant and thin, they taste just as good when they’re squat and fat, which is the only way my stubby fingers make them. Though this recipe can be prepared with meat and served warm, I prefer it vegetarian at room temperature.


Makes 6 servings
  • White medium or short grain rice
    • 1 1/2 cups
  • Potatoes
    • 5 or 6 medium
  • Fresh parsley
    • One bunch
  • Fresh tomatoes
    • 4 or 5 medium
  • Yellow onion
    • 2 medium
  • Fresh lemon juice
    • 2 or 3 medium lemons, or about 3/4 cup of juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup
  • Ground sumac
    • 1 tablespoon
  • Ground allspice
    • 1 tablespoon
  • Pomegranate molasses
    • 2 tablespoon
  • Grape leaves
    • Half a jar
  • Salt and black pepper
    • To taste


  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Chop the parsley, finely
  3. Dice onions
  4. Dice tomatoes
  5. Mix the rice, parsley, onions, tomatoes, molasses, and spices together in a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice at this point as well.
  6. Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes into thin discs.
  7. Oil the bottom of a large pot and line it with the potatoes.
  8. Cut each leaf in half as you make each roll and be sure to remove the heavy stem and central vein from each leaf before you roll it.
  9. Put about a teaspoon, maybe less, of the filling into each leaf and roll it into a thin cigar. Be careful not to add to much as the rice expands a lot when cooked.
  10. As you roll, fold the sides in towards the center to keep everything in place. It takes some practice! If you’re struggling, give Jonnie a call and she’ll talk you through it since she’s a born natural, it turns out.
  11. Place each roll side by side all around the pot. It doesn’t really matter how you put them in there, but it’ll look nicer if you fan them out of the center.
  12. Cover and cook on high heat for about 20 minutes, until you hear it boiling.
  13. Add half of the lemon juice and about half the olive oil to the pot.
  14. Lower the heat to low and let it cook for another two to two and a half hours. About an hour into it, add the rest of the oil and lemon juice.
  15. Take the cover off and turn the heat up to medium to make sure all the moisture boils out and that the potatoes crisp.
  16. To serve you can turn the entire pot upside down on a plate and the entire dish should slide out with the crisp potatoes on top. Don’t worry if that doesn’t work for you, it’ll still be delicious. Be sure to serve it at room temperature.