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Atzem pilaf with lamb and angel hair pasta
February 23, 2023

There are countless recipes throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, involving cabbage and grape leaf rolls.

This particular rendition is certainly the most representative of Japonica Rice.


  • 500g Japonica Rice
  • 300g Ground Lamb
  • 100g Parsley
  • 30g Dill
  • 100g Green Onion
  • 20g Fresh Mint
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Wild Cumin seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 100ml Olive Oil
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 3 Eggs
  • 800ml Lamb broth
  • 600g Tender grape leaves


Place a pot over medium to high heat and sauté the wild cumin seeds and the ground lamb in olive oil for 15 minutes. Add the rice and half of the lamb broth.

Lower the heat, simmer for about 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
When ready, remove from heat and add the lemon juice and the chopped fresh herbs.
Set the filling aside to cool and place a grape leaf in the palm of your hand.
Add the filling in the center, fold the sides of the vine leaf inwards and roll to make the dolma.
Try to make all dolma the same size.
Transfer to the pot, placing the stuffed grape leaves in a circle, one next to the other, while leaving a hole in the middle.
Add the remaining lamb broth and lemon juice until the dolma are completely covered.
Use a cooking weight to apply pressure over the stuffed grape leaves and let them simmer for roughly 40 minutes.
When ready, remove from heat and carefully remove the weight.
Make an egg and lemon sauce – avgolemono – using the broth left in the pot.
Serve immediately.

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