Each year we have participants try their hand in the kitchen by making a dish for everyone during dinner. This year our Iraqi participants made Dolma, a favorite Iraqi dish. It is a very traditional dish mader with squash, onions, green peppers, tomatos and rice.
3 cups uncooked white rice
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
3 Large Onions
4 Large Green Peppers
4 Large green squash
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 potato, sliced into rounds
1 cup canned tomato sauce
2 cups water, or as needed
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the uncooked rice, parsley, allspice, pepper and curry powder until well blended.
2.Pour oil into the bottom of a large pot, and spread to cover. Make a layer of potato slices to cover the bottom of the pan. The dolmas should not be able to touch the bottom of the pan.
3.Lay the grape leaves out flat on a cutting board. Place about a tablespoon of the rice mixture in the center of one leaf. Fold sides in towards the center, then roll up from the bottom loosely. Set in the pot seam side down. Repeat with the remaining mixture and leaves. For large leaves, you may cut them in half at the center vein. Place a heavy dinner plate on top of the dolma to keep them from unraveling. The cooking pot should be about 2/3 full.
4. Carve out the squash, green peppers and onions. Stuff all three of these with the rice mixture as well and add into the pot with the grape leaves.
5.Pour tomato sauce and water over the dolma. The liquid should cover them by at least one inch. Adjust the amount of water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.