From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Dolma (disambiguation).
Farshirovannyi peretz.jpg
Stuffed peppers
Course Meze or main dish
Region or state Countries of the former Ottoman Empire, Iran,Azerbaijan ,[1] Balkans, Italy, Middle East, Caucasus , Algeria and Central Asia[citation needed]
Serving temperature Cold or hot
Main ingredients Stuffed peppers, Vine leaf, Rice
Variations Partial
Cookbook: Dolma  Media: Dolma

Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes common in the Middle East and surrounding regions including the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia. Common vegetables to stuff include tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant, and garlic. The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolmas are generally served warm, often with tahini, egg-lemon or garlic yogurt sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold. Stuffed vegetables are also common in Italian cuisine, where they are named ripieni ("stuffed").[2]

Dishes of grape or cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling are also called dolma or yaprak dolma ('leaf dolma') in many cuisines, or may be distinguished as sarma.

Names and etymology[edit]

Dolma (Ottoman Turkish طولمه,) is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, "to be stuffed," and means "stuffed (thing)."[3][4][5][6] Dolma is a stuffed vegetable, that is, a vegetable that is hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to zucchini, tomato, pepper, eggplant, and the like; stuffed mackerel, squid, and mussel are also called dolma. Versions have been known in Persia since at least as early as the 17th century. Mīrzā ʿAlī-Akbar Khan Āšpaz-bāšī, chef to the court of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96), recorded dolma as a category of Persian cuisine and gave recipes for stuffing grape leaves, cabbage leaves, cucumbers, eggplants, apples, and quinces.[7]

Dishes involving wrapping leaves such as vine leaves or cabbage leaves around a filling are called sarma, though in many languages the distinction is usually not made.

Dolma without meat is sometimes called yalancı dolma 'fake dolma' in Turkish.[8][9]

In some countries, the usual name for the dish is a borrowing of dolma, e.g. Armenian տոլմա [tolˈmɑ] or դոլմա [dolˈmɑ],[10] or of yaprak (Turkish 'leaf'), in others it is a calque, and sometimes the two coexist with distinct meanings: Albanian: japrak; Arabic: محشي‎‎ maḥshi ('stuffed'), محشي ورق عنب (maḥshī waraq 'inab, 'stuffed grape leaf'); Persian: دلمه‎‎,"dolme", برگ "barg"; Greek: ντολμάς dolmas (for the leaf-wrapped kind) and γεμιστά yemista 'stuffed'; Kurdish: dolmaدۆلمە, yaprakh, یاپراخ. In Aleppo, the word يبرق yabraq refers to stuffed vine leaves, while محشي maḥshī refers to stuffed cabbage leaves and stuffed vegetables.


The filling generally consists of rice, minced meat or grains. In either case, the filling includes onion, herbs like dill, mint or parsley and spices. Meatless fillings are cooked with olive oil and include raisins or currants, onion, nuts or pulses.

Armenian lenten[edit]

In addition to the traditional dolmas, Armenia has a giant vegan variant called Lenten Dolma ("Pasus Tolma" or "պասուս տոլմա"). It is wrapped with cabbage leaves, and stuffed with red beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, cracked wheat, tomato paste, onion and many spices and flavorings.[11] Keeping with the Armenian lenten rules, it is vegan, but despite its name of Lenten dolma, it is commonly prepared year round.

With sea food[edit]

"Midye dolma", Stuffed mussels

Dolma could be made by using seafood. It is sometimes made with different types of fish or mussels. "Midye dolma",(Stuffed mussels) is very popular in Turkey. Usually, filling of midye dolma consists of rice, onion, black pepper and pimento spice.[12]

Israeli variant[edit]

In Israel, vine leaves, Swiss chard, artichoke bottoms, mallow, cabbage, potatoes, eggplants, onions, dates, zucchini, bell peppers, beets, hot chili peppers, dried dates, dried figs and dried apricots are commonly stuffed with a combination of meat and rice, although other fillings, such as bulgur, lentils and ptitim, have evolved among the various Jewish, Arab and Armenian communities.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Gosetti (1967), passim
  3. ^
  4. ^ Merriam-Webster Online - Dolma
  5. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica. Dolma.
  6. ^ Official Turkish Dictionary. Dolma.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica. Dolma.
  8. ^ yalancı literally means 'liar'; "dolma.". Online English-Turkish-German Dictionary. v4.1. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  9. ^ Selvili, Elif. "Cooking Fresh: Turkish Summer". Edible Austin. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "դօլմա" in Stepʿan Malxaseancʿ, Hayerēn bacʿatrakan baṙaran (Armenian Explanatory Dictionary), in 4 vols, Yerevan: State Publishing House of the Armenian SSR, 1944-45
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Ansky, Sherry, and Sheffer, Nelli, The Food of Israel: Authentic Recipes from the Land of Milk and Honey, pg. 76, Hong Kong, Periplus Editions (2000) ISBN 962-593-268-2


  • Alan Davidson, The Oxford Companion to Food. ISBN 0-19-211579-0.
  • Gosetti Della Salda, Anna (1967). Le ricette regionali italiane (in Italian). Milano: Solares. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Dolma at Wikimedia Commons