Traditional stuffed grape leaves with rice and veggies
Stuffed grape leaves are a traditional recipe in Eastern cuisine. Called dolmades in Greek or sarmi in Bulgarian cuisine, this dish is originally vegan.
In Bulgaria, stuffed grape leaves or sarmi is always served on Christmas Eve. There is a curious tradition for Christmas Eve dinner there. All dishes served on the table must be vegan and the total number of dishes must be an odd number.
So, the originally vegan sarmi are a central part of the Bulgarian Christmas Eve table. Sarmi can also be prepared with cabbage leaves – both pickled or fresh cabbage. However, stuffing for cabbage sarmi is often made with meat. As opposed to stuffed grape leaves, which are traditionally made vegan.
The preparation of this dish is a simple, two-step process. The stuffing is easy and quick to make. All you need is a cup of white rice and some of your favorite veggies. You have to be careful not to over-boil the rice in the stuffing as the stuffed grape leaves will be baked afterwards.