Celebrate with Dolmathes

Celebrate with Dolmathes




Today is Epiphany!  It is the day Christ revealed Himself as God and the Trinity was made manifest!

Its importance is so great, Orthodox Christians celebrate the day with three of life’s sustenances: prayer, water and food.  We pray with the celebration of Divine Liturgy, bless water in bowls, rivers and oceans, and we don’t fast!

Yes, today is a fast free Wednesday!  To celebrate I am sharing my recipe for Dolmathes also known as Yaprakia, a Greek meal of rolled Grape Leaves and Meatballs..


I start wAith a large onion, a fist full of fresh parsley leaves, and a fist full of fresh mint in a large food processor.  You can also add dill.  Add it to 1 ½ lbs. of ground beef, 1 cup of short grain rice, 3 large cloves of garlic (grated or chopped), one eggsalt and pepper

You can mix with a dough hook on a mixer or by hand.




I used ½ a large jar (16 oz) of grape leaves.   Rinse each leaf under cold water.  I line them around a colander to drain for a moment.


Line the bottom of a large stockpot with 4-5 grape leaves.  This will keep the dolmathes from scorching.



On a flat surface- (I use a cutting board or a cookie sheet) lay a grape leaf stem side up on a flat surface. Some recipes will tell you to trim off the stem, but it really isn’t necessary.

Form an oblong meatball about 3 inches long and place on grape leaf stem.



Similar to a burrito, fold the leaf closest to you over the meat, fold sides in and roll along table to form dolmathe.

Place the dolmathe off to the side, seam side down so they don’t unravel. When all the meat is used, tightly lay the rolls along the bottom of the pot filling as much space as possible and a layer at a time.



Add about 4 cups Chicken Broth, enough to cover the rolls plus 2 inches.  Invert a heat proof plate over the dolmathes to keep them from floating.  You may need to weigh it down with an empty jar.  Add water to jar if it’s not heavy enough.


EBring broth to a boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ – 2 hours.  Keep an eye on the level of broth.  You can always add water to the pot if necessary.

Dolmathes are great for dinner parties because they stay hot for a long time.  You can serve with lemon or an avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce.





FSet 2 eggs on the counter to reach room temperature.  Separate whites from yolks in two bowls.  Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer in a large bowl until frothy.   Add yolks one at time and beat a few minutes more.

Slowly add the juice of one lemon.

Heat 2 cups of chicken broth in microwave or on stove top.  (You can also use the broth from cooking the dolmathes)

Slowly pour 1 cup of hot broth into bowl while beating egg/lemon mixture.  Be careful to temper the egg slowly so the egg doesn’t curdle.

Put cooked dolmathes on a platter or bowl.  Pour avgolemono on top.  Serve and enjoy!






OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life.  Our blog, The Sounding, supports the well-being of our readers by providing well-written, positive, and thought-provoking Orthodox content and fostering discussion of its application to life.

Help us SHARE THE LIGHT of Christ throughout the world!  On January 17th, OCN is hoping parishes and individuals will take a moment to support our international ministry.  Click here for more information on how you can help us Share the Light on Sunday, January 17th.

The Orthodox Christian Network is a commissioned agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. Our mission is to comfort, inspire, and inform Orthodox Christians and seekers around the world using digital media. OCN is not underwritten financially by any one organization, jurisdiction, or individual. Rather, OCN is supported entirely by parish and personal donations. Please remember OCN in your parish’s charitable giving. The Orthodox Christian Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation.


Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners.  Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.

Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.


Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter,   Facebook,   YouTube,   Google+,  and  Pinterest

About author

Presvytera Vassi Haros

Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.