More Great Recipes: Middle Eastern

Assyrian Dolma

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"Swiss chard and cabbage rolls filled with perfectly seasoned rice and veggies"

Serves 6 | Prep Time 60 | Cook Time 60

Why I Love This Recipe

Nothing makes me think of family and holidays and home more than my mom's dolma. While most Assyrian recipes rely on the cook's ability to eyeball and ability to season "to taste," I was able to piece together this recipe based on information I found online and getting my mom to measure the last time she cooked this for the family. This dish couples savory and tangy flavors perfectly and is enjoyed by Assyrians throughout the world during special occasions and holidays (or a random Wednesday if you are lucky and your mom is feeling energetic!).

Submitted by: "Rhonda Contreras"

Ingredients You'll Need

2 bunches Swiss chard
1 head cabbage
2 cups long grain white rice
1 pound beef sirloin, diced (optional; recipe is just as tasty meatless!)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 ounces tomato paste

Cooking liquid:
2 cups water
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup avocado oil


• Boil a pot of water, while you prepare the Swiss chard and cabbage leaves by washing thoroughly
• Slice each Swiss chard leaf into 6 pieces (cutting along the spine)
• Cut each cabbage leaf into 2 pieces (cutting along spine)
• To help the dolma from burning, use the spines and thicker pieces of the chard and cabbage to line the bottom of a 6 or 8-quart Dutch oven
• Dip approximately 4 to 6 Swiss leaf sections into boiling water for a few seconds and drain in a colander. Repeat until all the leaves have been blanched
• In a large bowl, mix the filling ingredients (starting with the rice, and ending with the cayenne pepper)
• Add oil, lemon juice, and tomato paste and mix thoroughly until the tomato paste is evenly distributed
• Place approximately one tablespoon of filling in the center of leaves and roll into a tight cigar shape
• Place in tight rows in the Dutch oven. Repeat until the entire mixture and/or leaves are used up
• Note: If you have extra filling left, you can use it to stuff peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, grape leaves, or onions
• Cook covered over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until juices are released

Cooking Liquid
• While the dolma are cooking, combine cooking liquid ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil
• After the dolma has cooked for 10 to 15 minutes, pour the liquid carefully over the dolma
• Cover with a large, flat plate (optional). This helps to keep the dolma submerged in the cooking liquids.
• Turn the heat down to very low and cook the dolma for 45 minutes to one hour. The rice should be very tender
• Allow the dolma to rest for 15 minutes before serving

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