At some Coasts of Our Lovely Sea white cabbage leaves and even some others green leafy vegetables are used for wrapping. But real Black Sea Sarma requires vine leaves.

In most cases vine leaves used for Black Sea Sarma are salted or marinated in brine. Fresh vine leaves require parboiling and cutting into needed shape for wrapping.

Serves 6-8

Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 40 minutes

40-50 vine leaves

450-500 gr of ground lamb or beef

3 small onions, finely chopped

150 long grain rice, rinsed and drained

1 bunch fresh dill and flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried mint

4 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and ground pepper to taste

1 – 1,5 cup water to cook the stuffed vine leaves

8-10 tablespoon of plain yoghurt or sour cream to serve

Place the ground meat in a bowl and stir with the onions, rice, herbs and spices. Season, combine with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and knead well. Lay one of the vine leaves on a flat surface and put some filling in the middle of the leaf. Pull the leaf over the filling, fold in the sides, then roll into a tight log.

Arrange the vine leaves, seam side down, in a deep wide pan. Pack them tightly together, layer by layer. Mix the remaining oil with 1 -1,5 cup of water, then pour over the vine leaves. The water should cover the top layer.

Place a heavy plate over the Black Sea Sormas and put the pan on medium heat.  Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat, cover and cook gently for about 40 minutes, until the rice and meat are cooked.

Serve Black Sea Sarma hot, with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream and Black Sea Stone Oven Bread.

Black Sea Cuisine is simple, tasty and inexpensive.