Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

Bedouin stuffed  grape leaves combine meat with rice and spices in a compact grape leaf roll for a satisfying Egyptian  style appetizer.

Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

By Sue  Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe of the day is for Bedouin  stuffed  grape leaves with the #EattheWorld. We post monthly on different cuisines from around the globe and the selection of the month is for Egyptian  foods.

We are Going with Camel

I know Wendy Klik had hoped to obtain some camel for her recipe. Unfortunately her vendor was out. But I was able to get some at Jungle Jim’s market in Fairfield, which pretty much has everything.

I am certain I will get some gawkers and stares for this one. But since I had not tried camel before, was determined to give it a go, even if both Egyptian (and camel) recipes are scarce.

Is It Really Authentic?

I understand not many Egyptians eat this anyway, but someone does, and since it is a desert animal, I am ascribing this version to be more Bedouin (but there is a margin of error there).

With Cookbooks Here, Who Can Be Sure?

Egyptian cookbooks in the USA are scarce and  the one  solid version I could  dig up (by Samia Abdennour) did not exactly contain an abundance of info. I had hoped to get another, but there was not enough time.

And Here’s What Happened:

I settled on grape leaves since those are pretty universal. And as I understand it, those are mostly made with beef or lamb with a major seasoning being dill and raisins.

Not knowing  the full flavor of camel, I decided it might be  more wise to go with seven spice, to  possibly cover any game meat flavors. The seven spice (front of the house spice) you can buy as a blend can also make yourself. So I have  put together a blend according to my taste.

I also thought it might be nice instead of raisins to go with dates, since as a desert food, it seemed the obvious choice.

More Mundane than you Think

But according to my decisions on this recipe,  it might or  might not be familiar to Egyptians as something served there. But there it is for what it is worth.

If you are curious, I thought the camel would taste like lamb except more lean. But it seems to me to be closer to beef in flavor. Since any of you might be like Wendy and not get to have the camel after all, be comfortable making this with camel, beef or lamb. They should all be good.

And although I’d like to laugh and say how scary camel was, it was really quite ordinary. So I have no idea why Egyptians might not like it more unless it was not Halal.

Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

Eat the World Cooking Challenge

This recipe today is being  posted as part of Eat the World, where each month a group of adventurous bloggers takes on making a recipe from a different part of the globe. This month, the topic was Egypt.

Destination: Egypt

Check out all the wonderful Egyptian dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Lahma Bil Basal (Egyptian Beef in Onion Sauce)
Palatable Pastime: Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves
Sneha Datar: Vegan Egyptian Koshari
Literature and Limes: Taameyya
Pandemonium Noshery: Ful Medames
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Ghorayebah Cookies
The Gingered Whisk: Basbousa Cake Recipe
Kitchen Frau: Egyptian Fava Beans and Feta
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Koshary

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Bedouin  Stuffed Grape Leaves

Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

Bedouin Stuffed Grape leaves

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 29 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Egyptian, Middle Eastern
Servings 5 dozen


Meat filling:

  • 1 pound ground camel lamb, or beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch cloves
  • pinch sugar

Grape leaves:

  • 16 ounce jar grape leaves
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted Medjool dates chopped (5-6)
  • lemon slices for serving
  • extra virgin olive oil for serving


  • Brown the camel or other meat in oil with the garlic.
  • Stir in the aromatic spices.
  • Allow meat to cool and mix with the rice and dates.
  • Drain the grape leaves and rinse in hot water.
  • Layer the bottom of a large Dutch oven or roasting pan with some grape leaves.
  • Place one teaspoon filling on each leaf and roll up like a burrito, firm but not tightly or loose.
  • Place stuffed leaves seam side down in the pan without excess space.
  • If needed for another layer, place some more grape leaves between the layers.
  • Cover the grape leaves with water by an inch and place a plate or other weighted object on the leaves so they do not float and unroll. Make sure your plate is okay to heat, such as stoneware.
  • Bring pot to a boil, then lower heat cover and simmer for one hour or until grape leaves are tender and rice is cooked.
  • Drain off a bit of water then press down on the plate and drain further, using the plate to hold the grape leaves down.
  • Allow them to cool off before trying to remove from the pan. be careful not to mangle and unroll them.
  • Chill until needed, serving at room temperature with drizzled olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.


From the kitchen of
Keyword camel, Grape leaves, lamb, meat, rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Bedouin Stuffed Grape Leaves

9 responses

    • I bet you could find something online. The same way some of the companies have shipped frozen meats in events. Mail order is fantastic and opens doors. I remember 20 years ago a Thai lime leaf and fresh galangal could not be had. Except through the magic of the internet.

    • The camel was quite ordinary. I do admit I was nervous. I tried making kangaroo burgers before with a recipe online from someone in Tasmania as part of a recipe making swap. OMG it was vile. Or it was the recipe. That one almost tasted like a weird mix of fish and meat. This one gives me courage to try a few others my market has- including boar, and ostrich. They have gator but I don’t think so. I’ve smelled that cooking before it had the aroma of swamp. Camel is sort of like 25% lamb with 75% beef with a hint of something else that does not offend.

  1. Oddly enough, I found most camel meat and recipes were available in Australia! I still haven’t found any and I’m glad to virtually taste it through you.

    • I knew when you suggested Egypt it was time to give it a try. The cookbook I got was really…bad. There had been another but it had a waiting list and my request never came in at the library. You’d think- I would have had something in one of my books, but the ones I had just didn’t grab me this month. Or they weren’t quite specific enough to say they were def Egyptian–or they were ones I had already done. I am a fan of the M’Yadra as well. I need to go peek if you have your recipe for that posted and see how we compared.

    • I don’t make them often since they make a crapload. I got Bill to help me tag-team style spreading out the leaves while I filled and rolled them up which made fairly short work of it. Otherwise I’d have wasted a ton of time rinsing my hands over and again.

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