Black Sea Midye Dolma is a simple and tasty dish of Black Sea Cuisine. It can be described as a Mussels Stuffed with Pilaf. This dish is often served for lunch or dinner.

Black Sea Midye Dolma basic ingredients are mussels. The quality and freshness of them are  very important for this dish. At primary selection mussels should be undamaged and fresh-smelling, and all of them should be tightly closed and any should be rejected if not shut when tapped.

The original recipe of Black Sea Midye Dolma comes from the South-West Coast of Our Lovely Sea. But it is most likely that roots of this dish originate from Armenia.

Preparation stage of Black Sea Midye Dolma requires very careful cleaning of mussels. Scraping  off any barnacles from the shells and pulling out and detaching any hair-like beard fibers from the hinges of the shells need to be done very carefully. As well as intensive scrubbing of each mussel from both shells’ sides under running cold water with a stiff brush in order to remove any sand and clean well mussels. After cleaning, mussels are placed in a big bowl with lightly salted cold water for about 2 hours. Fresh water kill’s the mussels quite quickly.

Cooking stage of the dish is easier and shorter than the preparation stage.

Put the mussels in the pan and boil in 1 liter of water with 1/2 tbsp salt until slightly open. Just split a little so they can open easier later. Strain the liquid through a strainer and save.

Wash rice in the salted water and drain. Chop the onion very finely. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and fry until soft. Add finely chopped garlic and pistachios. Stir well until the pistachios get a little red. Then add rice, mint, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, sugar and hot pepper and mix all well. Add 2 cups of mussel liquid and add raisins. Mix well and leave on low heat. When rice takes all liquid, remove from heat,

Stuff mussels with pilaf, leaving a little space.  Press to cover. Put the mussels into a pan. Pour in the remaining 2 cups of mussel liquid and 2 cups of water. Close the lid and cook over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the color of the mussels changes.

They are ready in about 20 minutes. Chill down. Serve cold, open and top with lemon juice.

Black Sea Midye Dolma traditionally served cold with fresh lemon.

You can enjoy Black Sea Midye Dolma with friends and family in #BlackSeaCuisine restaurants or enjoy at home as it is a very light and healthy dish.

Black Sea Cuisine is simple, tasty and inexpensive.