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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've made stuffed grape leaves before, but have never tried freezing them. Has anyone had experience with this? How well do they freeze?<br><br><br><br>
Also, how long will unused grape leaves last in the fridge?<br><br><br><br>
TIA <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sunny.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sunny:">
 

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Actually, yes, I have frozen stuffed grape leaves. Left them in there for quite a while (a few weeks +) and forgot about them. When I took them out, they just smelled too strongly of thick olive oil and salty leaves, I threw them out<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"> The texture seemed ok, but I worried the diced mushrooms might be a little weird.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry I can't be of more help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hhmm...well, I only use about a tablespoon of olive oil to sauté the onions and garlic. And I don't put mushrooms in my grape leaves. But I guess it's the texture that I'm concerned about, as you mentioned.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for the input.
 

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Armenians have been freezing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_(food)" target="_blank">sarma</a> ever since freezers were invented. Works just fine.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Washoe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Armenians have been freezing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_(food)" target="_blank">sarma</a> ever since freezers were invented. Works just fine.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
That looks yummy!<br><br><br><br>
Don't trust my Greek (or Armenian) cooking... I'm from California! I'm better with Mexican food or fresh veggies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Washoe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Armenians have been freezing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_(food)" target="_blank">sarma</a> ever since freezers were invented. Works just fine.</div>
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Yep, I'm Armenian, so I've eaten lots of stuffed grape leaves <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> . I just didn't know how well they would freeze. Thanks.
 

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As a matter of fact, freezing might be the preferred way to extend its shelf life. Ive been buying frozen sarma from an Armenian deli in Van Nuys, CA called Valley Hye my entire life. The deli was there even before I was born, and Ive been patronizing them for over forty years. The owners are older than Methuselah now. At every family get-together I ever went to as a child, we had frozen sarma from Valley Hye. Ive also had canned sarma, and it cant even hold a candle to the sarma of my childhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My parents used to make stuffed grape leaves from scratch when I was a child, mostly for family gatherings. I don't think there was ever anything left over to freeze. The last time they made them, though, was for my wedding reception 20 years ago. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("> I also miss the kahta (sp) bread they used to make. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/drool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":drool:"><br><br><br><br>
Lately I've just been buying stuffed grape leaves from Whole Foods, enough for me and hubby to eat during the week. But as much as we eat them, they were getting a little pricey, so I figured I should start making large batches and trying to freeze them. It's good to know that they'll thaw well.
 

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What recipe do you use? Are they difficult to make and roll up? I'm wondering because we too eat large quantities of them but they're so expensive at restaurants or grocery stores.
 

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I have Armenian cookbooks. I'll post recipes soon. Not all sarma recipes involve lamb; some traditional recipes are actually vegan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hate when I lose a big long post that I just typed out! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/veryangry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":grr:"><br><br><br><br>
Anyway, it's been years since I've made them, but I was going to ask my parents for the recipe since elibrown was interested. But if you want to post it, Washoe, that would be great. I do remember that we made ours with white rice, onion, fresh parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. When I googled "Yalanchi sarma" I found that the recipes included tomatoes, mint and allspice, which I don't remember being in the recipe, but I could be wrong. It does sound good.<br><br><br><br>
What got me wanting to make them again was the way this Middle Eastern restaurant hubby and I stumbled on makes them. Theirs has brown rice, currants, pine nuts and spices that tasted like cinnamon and cumin. They were <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/drool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":drool:"> !<br><br><br><br>
I found this recipe which I just made a couple days ago. It's similar and tastes okay, but it's not quite the same. I need to tweak it a little.<br><br><a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dolmas-Stuffed-Grape-Leaves/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dolmas-...es/Detail.aspx</a>
 

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Take your time. Thank you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just talked to my mom and she scanned and sent me the recipes from her Armenian cookbook.<br><br><br><br>
It's been a quite a while since she's made sarma (I've only made it a couple times), and there were a few recipes in her cookbook, but she thinks she may have combined two of the recipes. This is what she came up with.<br><br><br><br>
A side note - I noticed one of the recipes called for currants and pine nuts, so I guess those ingredients were traditionally used (I thought they were modern additions) though mom never added them to her recipe.<br><br><br><br>
She asked me to make it for Christmas dinner, so we'll see how it turns out.<br><br><br><br>
DEREVI SARMA<br><br>
1 cup pearl rice (this rice helps the filling stay together)<br><br>
3 cups onions, chopped<br><br>
1 cup olive oil (this amount is essential, according to my mom)<br><br>
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine<br><br>
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped fine<br><br>
1/2 teaspoon chopped mint leaves<br><br>
2 teaspoons salt<br><br>
1/2 teaspoon pepper<br><br>
1 teaspoon paprika<br><br>
1/2 teaspoon allspice<br><br>
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)<br><br>
1 large lemon<br><br>
Grape leaves (about 50)<br><br><br><br>
Fry the onions in the olive oil in a big frying pan until light brown. Take off the fire, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the lemon) and mix. Let cool.<br><br><br><br>
Drain the grape leaves, then wash them in hot water. Cut off the stems. Spread a leaf wrong side up and stem end towards you. Put a teaspoonful of the filling near the stem end, fold over the sides, then start rolling from the stem up like a cigarette.<br><br><br><br>
Place some leaves in the bottom of a large heavy pan to prevent the Sarma from burning and arrange the rolled leaves side by side in the pan and in two or three layers according to the size of the pan. Place a plate over the top to keep them in place, add two cups of water and the juice from the lemon, cover and cook for one and a half hours, in medium oven (350 degrees). After they are cooked, do not remove plate until Sarmas have cooled to prevent discoloring. Serve cold, sprinkle with olive oil to make them shine. Garnish with lemon slices.
 

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Nice recipe. Can I ask, are these the same thing as stuffed grape leaves called Dolmadakia or Dolmades(or I think just 'Dolmas' sometimes) that are sold in delis and such?
 

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I posted <a href="http:" target="_blank">http://www.veggieboards.com/boards/showthread.php?p=1449691#post1449691]one</a> recipe for sarma[/url] out of several I was able to find in my Armenian cookbooks. From the wording of Sunny's post, it was very obviously taken from the same book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^^^yes, that exact recipe is in my parents' cookbook. When my mom sent me that recipe I thought it was an awful lot of onions! She said she used the amount in the other recipe (Derivi Sarma No. 2), the one I posted. Oh, I just noticed you mentioned the same thing!<br><br><br><br>
TNS, yes they're the same thing. Sarma refers to the type of wrap that you put the stuffing into, like the actual grape leaf or cabbage leaf. Dolma refers to the filling that goes inside the wrap.
 

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Actually, I think your mother has combined two recipes from two separate books and created a personalized hybrid. Your mom’s recipe is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> Derevi Sarma # 2 from page 8 of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">TAR</span>. That recipe calls for <i>five pounds</i> (!) of onions. However, the quantities of allspice, cinnamon, mint, dill, etc. seem to be the same. Also, the wording of the recipe (“rolling from the stem up like a cigarette") is taken verbatim from the Derevi Sarma # 1 recipe on page 7 of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">TAR</span>. So the question is—how did your mom come up with three cups of onions? I think she got it from <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Rose Baboian’s Armenian-American Cookbook</span>, another sacred text in traditional Armenian kitchens. If you look at the recipe for Yalanchi Sarma on page 20 of that book, it calls for 3 cups of onions. Also, your mom’s recipe calls for frying the onions first, which <span style="text-decoration:underline;">TAR</span> does not mention but Rose Baboian does.<br><br><br><br>
This leaves me with the seemingly unsolvable dilemma of which recipe to try first. I’m going to give mom the benefit of the doubt and try her recipe first, as five pounds of onions seems pretty extraneous to me. Also, I think onions taste better fried. I’m hoping to make this within the next few days, so I’ll report back with the results. And of course, I will also freeze a bunch to see if anything bad happens to them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> BTW, my mom sez it’s perfectly OK to freeze them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, they're from the same book. One of the recipes calls for adding the rice and boiling water after frying the onions and boiling it covered until the water was absorbed. She doesn't remember doing that. She said she thought it may make the rice too mushy, since it's already going in the oven for an hour and a half. But as I said, it's been a while since she made them.<br><br><br><br>
Also, I did reword the recipe a little to make it a little clearer to follow.
 
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