Kestaneli Lahana Dolmasi (Spicy Cabbage Leaves With Chestnuts)


  • Juice of 2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Small bunches of dill and parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces chestnuts, cooked and shelled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 to 25 cabbage leaves
  • Lemon wedges
  • 3 ounces short-grain rice, washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Steam cabbage leaves until soft, then refresh under cold water and drain well. Remove base of hard central vein of each leaf and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and brown onion with garlic and sugar. Stir in rice, spices and a little salt, cover with just enough water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
3. Put chestnuts and herbs in large bowl and add rice mixture, mixing well with fork. Place a cabbage leaf on flat surface and spoon some of the rice mixture into the middle. Fold sides over and roll up into tight packet. Repeat with remaining cabbage and rice mixture and pack snugly in shallow pan or casserole. Mix remaining tablespoon oil with lemon juice and pour over packets. Place a dish directly on top, then cover the dish and cook gently 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or cold with lemon wedges. Serves 4-5.

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