Noor’s Lemony Veggie Grape Leaves

Grape Leaves are a very popular dish in my culture. I made these two shown below a year ago while down South visiting my favorite uncle, and this is one of his favorite dishes so my sister and I got down to business. They are usually made with rice, ground beef, tomatoes, and parsley, but being a cook, I enjoy playing around with different ingredients (usually to make dishes healthier). This recipe is vegetarian and very tasty! Feel free to use any veggies or meat for the filling that you feel suit. (I’ll definitely make a step by step post for these in the near future, since many people question the rolling process). 😉

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.


2 jars grape leaves, washed

2 cups washed rice, brown rice, or burghul (cracked wheat)

1 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed

½- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large tomatoes

1 bunch fresh parsley

2 bunches green onions

5 cloves fresh garlic pounded

1-2 red, yellow, green bell peppers (optional, and organic preferred)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried mint

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

¼ tsp cumin, ground

1 teaspoon all spice (7 spice) My mom makes this fresh at home. 

2 teaspoons onion powder


  1. Wash brown rice/burghul well in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and chop tomatoes, parsley, green onions, fresh garlic ground, and optional bell peppers. Add to mixing bowl.
  3. Add lemon juice, EVOO, and spices. Mix well.
  4. Roll into the grape leaves by placing a small line of filling the middle, folding the edges, and rolling tightly. Stack and cook in a pressure cooker about 45-60 minutes.
  5. Enjoy it with cucumber yogurt salad!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A. Sh.
    Dec 23, 2014 @ 15:57:34

    Salam! I love grape leaves, but have refrained from making them because I wanted to make a healthier version, so thanks for sharing this recipe! I have a few questions:

    1. What are the spices that make up allspice?

    2. Does the rice have to be cooked/steamed even a little bit before filling the grape leaves?

    3. Can I add a little bit of tomato paste to the pot before cooking the grape leaves?

    4. So no water is necessary when cooking the leaves?

    5. I don’t have a pressure cooker. How can I work around that?

    JazakAllah khair!



    • blackbeanbrownies
      Dec 23, 2014 @ 17:02:47

      Walaykum al salam, yes, these are definitely a great choice.

      1. 7 all-spice is a mix of “allspice” (which is a type of pepper), cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, and black pepper.

      2. The rice does not need to be cooked; just wash it well and drain it completely.

      3. Yes, we actually do a tomato version for change. Try diluting the tomato paste in a small amount of water first, then pouring over the grape leaves.

      4. Yes, you will need water to cook them, between 6-7 cups.

      5. You can use a regular pot (but will require more time) and press down the grape leaves. Add some slices of raw onion between and garlic cloves for a flavor blast. Add about 7 cups water. You’ll need something heavy and heat-safe to make sure they stay pressed and below the water. If doing this version, we use a heavy duty plate that will tolerate. Cover with a lid and it will require about 2-3 hours of cooking (yes, a lot longer).

      Hope they turn out great! Enjoy! 🙂



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