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
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.