Tasty dolmades at Aybla Grill!
One of the many delicious Greek and Mediterranean dishes available at Aybla Grill are our dolmades. These rice and herb stuffed grape leaves are delicious and make a great appetizer or as a side dish. Since this traditional dish contains no meat, it is a perfect choice for our vegetarian customers.
A wider definition – dolmades around the world
There are many types of dolmades. In a broad sense, dolma is is a family of stuffed dishes common in the Mediterranean cuisine. Dolma dishes are also common in the surrounding regions such as the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and Middle East. Common vegetables to stuff include tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant, garlic. Cabbage rolls and dishes of stuffed grape leaves are also very popular, and these are sometimes also called sarma. Meat dolmas are generally served warm, often with tahini or egg-lemon sauce. Dolmas prepared with olive oil and stuffed with rice are generally served cold with a garlic-yogurt sauce. Stuffed vegetables are also common in Greek cuisine, called gemista, as well as in Italian cuisine, where they are named ripieni (“stuffed”). While dolma is the singular term for this dish, the Greek plural is dolmades.
History of dolmades
Dolma type dishes have been a part of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. Though the word dolma itself most likely has its roots in the cuisine of the Ottoman Topkapı Palace, stuffed vegetables are attested to in pre-Ottoman Arabic cookbooks that include recipes like eggplants stuffed with meat. Likewise, in Ancient Greece, a fig leaf stuffed with sweetened cheese was called thrion.
The exact origins are unknown, but the Persian variety has been traced to at least the 17th century and in the 19th century Naser al-Din Shah Qajar’s chef records several varieties including stuffed grape leaves, cabbage leaves, cucumbers, eggplants, apples, and quinces. The recorded stuffings included ground meat, sauteed mint, rice and saffron.
Today, dolmades are popular in many cultures. Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis, and Iranians have been making stuffed grape leaves for centuries. Many people use dolmas as part of their cultural celebrations. Muslim families often serve dolma as part of the iftar meal during Ramadan and during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of the holy month. Assyrians prepare meatless dolmas for Lent. Dolma are part of the cuisine of the Sephardic Jews as well.
Where can you find the best dolmades in Portland?
Aybla Grill is proud to serve some of Portland’s best Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. When you’re craving tasty dolmades, come on down to Aybla Grill! Our new Greek Mediterranean restaurant is open 6 days a week for both lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. Satisfy your craving for Greek and Mediterranean foods at Aybla Grill! Contact or call us at 971-328-2041 for catering.