1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, minced
1 1/2 cups white rice, uncooked
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. dried currants
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. dried mint
1 Tbsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cumin
1 8-oz. jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
• Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
• Add the onions and sauté until tender. Stir in the rice and just enough hot water to cover the rice. Cover the saucepan and simmer until the rice is half cooked—about 10 minutes.
• Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the tomato paste, currants, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint, dill weed, allspice, and cumin. Allow the mixture to cool.
• To protect the stuffed grape leaves from direct heat during steaming, prepare a large pot by placing an inverted plate on the bottom.
• Rinse the grape leaves in warm water, drain, and cut off the stems. Place about 1 tsp. of the cooled rice mixture onto the center of each leaf. Fold in the sides, roll into a cigar shape, and place into the prepared pot.
• Pour in just enough hot water to reach the bottom of the first layer of grape leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked. Check the water level often and add more as necessary.
Makes 8 servings