Yalanji ( vegetarian stuffed vine leaves)

Hello everybody.

Though I’m suffering from a bad back pain,but I bought fresh vine leaves and tiny courgettes Saturday to make yalanji and It’s a shame to leave them uncooked or freeze them,so I prepared stuffing and God bless my Mom  came by to help,actually stuffed them all . Thank you precious Um Khaled <3<3.

This dish is famous in Eastern Mediterranean countries,Turkey, Greece and Cyprus,usually as appetizer or side dish with Lebanese  mezzeh ,today I cooked it as main dish for lunch,kids asked for it so yalanji it is. I also made baba ghanouj with it ( roasted eggplant with veggies).

Ingredients and method:(

* Hollowed courgettes ( scoop out pulp with special knife,كوسا محفور ).you can stuff small eggplants also.

* fresh vine leaves.

* 2 ripe tomatoes,peeled and finely chopped.

* bunch of parsley and mint leaves.

* 1 small onion finely chopped.

* salt, pepper and 1 tsp coffee ( don’t know why coffee is added but many people use it ,they say it gives a nice taste,no harm to add it anyway).

* 1/2 cup lemon juice.

* olive oil.

* some sliced potatoes sliced ,placed at bottom of pan.


* prepare stuffing by mixing washed rise,chopped tomatoes,onion,parsley and mint.

* add salt,pepper,coffee,lemon juice and oil.

* soak vine leaves in boiling water and cover till color changes then drain all water.

* stuff courgettes and vine leaves.

* line potatoes and sliced tomatoes in the bottom of pan or pressure cooker.

* arrange courgettes and vine leaves then cover with a plate covered in foil paper so as to stay compressed.

* add lemon juice,salt,olive oil and enough water to cover all by one inch.

* cook on high heat till water is bubbling for 10 minutes then lower heat to minimum and leave to cook for an hour and half or till done ( time depends on quantity you did)

* leave to cool completely then arrange in a large dish and serve.


Baba Ghanouj :

* roast eggplant on stove or in the oven, when done cut half way, remove pulp and chop.

* chop tomato,onion,pepper,parsley . p.s. you can add 1 clove garlic if you like

* add lemon juice,salt then mix all together.

* drizzle olive oil on top.

Note: I apologize for not posting exact quantities cause it all depends on how many leaves and courgettes you’re stuffing.

Unfortunately seems I either added too much water or overcooked it, first time this happens with me ,leaves turned out sloppy (بالعربي فرط اليلنجي :( ) I tried to save few good looking pieces to show you !!! we ate the courgettes and  baba ghanouj  .