Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Agnes Djaha’s Yebret (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Hashwa (basic meat and rice stuffing) Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 lb. coarsely ground lamb
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts, called Sanoobar (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Stuffed Grape Leaves Ingredients

  • 60 grape leaves (can be purchased in jars in many supermarkets and specialty stores)
  • Basic Meat & Rice Stuffing (above)
  • 3/4 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 10-20 cloves of garlic to taste
  • 4-5 lamb neck bones with meat
  • water to cover

Hashwa (basic meat and rice stuffing) Directions

  1. Rinse the rice and drain
  2. Mix rice, meat, salt and allspice, and optional pine nuts Mix with water for moisture. This stuffing is also used in other Arabic dishes, including stuffed squash, cabbage, and eggplant. Refrigerate until ready to roll grape leaves.

Making Stuffed Grape Leaves Directions

  1. Spread out each leaf individually
  2. Lay approximately one tbsp. of meat and rice stuffing on leaf Turn in the sides and roll cigar fashion
  3. Place lamb neck bones in bottom of a 2 quart sauce pan
  4. When leaves are rolled, stack in pan
  5. Sprinkle with garlic cloves
  6. Pour water and lemon juice over grape leaves and garlic Lay a heavy plate on top of rolled grape leaves so that they will not loosen
  7. Cover and cook on high flame to boiling point
  8. Reduce heat and cook 20 to 25 minutes
  9. Close heat and allow grape leaves to remain in the pot for 15 to 20 minutes to absorb flavors
  10. Drain juice carefully into a bowl
  11. Arrange grape leaves on platter and sprinkle with cook garlic Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep time: 30- 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour & 20 minutes

Yield: approximately 20 servings


Tags: stuffed grape leaves, Antioch University Green MBA, syrian cuisine, food memory, agnes djaha