Stuffed Zucchini and Bell Pepper (Turkish Dolma)

This was long time coming. At some point I was due to cook some traditional food, in spite of my new diet.  So here it is. Semi-traditional Tukish Stuffed Vegetables, Dolma. The recipe normally would have rice in it but I improvised and put very tiny chopped cauliflower. That’s right! It’s Veggie-ception! Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Green bell peppers
  • 200gr ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped really small
  • 1/4 of a whole cauliflower
  • A handful of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
  •  2 cups Grated tomatoes
  • 1 + 1/2 clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Dried mint
  • Salt & Pepper

First of all you need to get the vegetables ready. If you are using round zucchinis try to maintain the shape. If you’re using long zucchini, you can cut them into halves and then carve. Don’t forget to leave one side un-carved. Don’t throw the carvings away. Cup the top bits of the peppers and throw the seeds away.

In a food processor, cut up the cauliflower really small bits.

Mix in a bowl the ground beef, cauliflower, the carved out zucchini bits, onion, 1/2 chopped garlic, small amount of olive oil, the spices and salt & pepper.

Stuff the zucchini and the peppers with the new mixture.  Gently place the stuffed vegetables in the cooking pan and place the ‘heads’ of the veggies on top.

Add the tomato paste, rest of the crushed and chopped garlic and the grated tomatoes around the veggies. Add water just up to the top of the zucchinis. Add salt and pepper on top of the pan. Cook until the aromas mix, that will take about 30 min to 45 mins on medium high heat.

As the traditional Turkish way, you can use garlic yogurt as sauce:

  • 2 cups of sugar-free yogurt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt

Crush the garlic with salt in a mortar really fine. Best tool is a wooden mortar for this, since you won’t be cooking the garlic, wooden mortars give the best possible result in eliminating the raw garlic taste.

If you don’t have a mortar, just crush the garlic with the flat side of you knife, really fine and chop into small pieces.

Mix yogurt, garlic and salt into a smooth texture.

So, here you have my take on the traditional Turkish Dolma. It’s really fun to prepare and very delicious to eat. Enjoy.

_MG_5880Dolma 1 Dolma 2Dolma 3Dolma 4Dolma 6

Dolma 9Dolma 11Dolma 12


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