Stuffed vine leaves ‘yalançi’
  150 vine leaves
1 kilo onions chopped in the blender
4 teacupfuls short-grain rice
1 teacupful raisins
1 teacupful pine nuts
1½ teacupful dill, finely chopped
½ teacupful mint, finely chopped (optional)
4 teacupfuls virgin olive oil
Pour the three cupfuls of oil into a deep pan.
Add the finely chopped onion and fry lightly but do not brown. Add the rice and stir until they are well mixed.
Pour in two teacupfuls of water and cook until this is absorbed. Add the pine nuts, currants, dill and mint (optional). Season with salt and leave the mixture to cool.
Blanch the vine leaves in boiling water for two minutes, then dunk them immediately in cold to keep them green.
Place a little of the stuffing in each vine leaf and wrap carefully, without cursing those who will eat them. Make sure the little ‘parcels’ are not too tight, as the rice will swell when cooked.
Stack them in layers in a deep pan and then cover with a soup dish, to prevent them moving too much while cooking.
Pour over the rest of the oil and sufficient water to cover the ‘parcels’. Turn on the hotplate and cook them at moderate temperature for one hour.
Test one to see whether the rice is cooked and the leaf tender. If not, boil for about another 15 minutes.
Leave the vine leaves to cool and serve with cold sour yoghurt. They are truly delectable.
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