Living in the Middle East region gave me lots of opportunity to learn their authentic cuisines. It is definitely one of my dreams to live in different country and learn more about their culture and cuisine. Even though I never thought I will start with Middle East region. I really think that it’s really the best way to live and learn from the local people. Whenever I tasted something that it’s delicious, I will ask and try to learn from them. And one of the dishes is Warak Enab. It’s usually serves as appetizer and some people cooked with tomatoes and meat or lemon or even just tomatoes base. I prefer to cook it with tomatoes base. And I ate it as lunch or dinner cause to be honest it’s quite filling. I like to dip it with yogurt. It might sound weird, but it’s really good. And now I cook this quite often. It’s low calories if you omit the yogurt.
Warak Enab basically its stuffed grape leaves with meat and rice. It doesn’t need a lot of ingredients but it can be time consuming, as it requires you to roll it one by one. I find it quite therapeutic. All I need to do its either put on the TV or put on some hard dance electro while preparing it. Yes I love Hard Dance Electro! I listen to it when I cook, study, clean and gym.
A jar of Grape Leaves
500gm Ground Meat or Lamb
1cup Rice (Rinsed and drained)
1tbsp Garlic, minced
1tbsp Onion, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sliced Tomato enough to cover the bottom pot
1 Chicken Stock Cube (optional)
½ cup to 1 cup Lemon Juice (adjust to your liking)
1.Mix together ground meat, rice, butter, garlic, onion, salt and pepper until well combined.
2.Rinse and drain the grape leaves.
3.Lay a leaf on a plate or flat surface, shiny side down (vein facing upwards)
4.Take some of the meat mixture and put it in the center of the leaf.
5.Fold the bottom edges upward. Fold the side edges towards the middle.
6.Roll the leaf towards the tip of the leaf. (Basically is like rolling a spring roll)
7.On a deep pot, lay all the tomato slices on the bottom. It will act as a protection to the stuffed grape leaves from sticking to the pot.
8.Line all the warak enab, pour in the water enough to cover the stuffed grape leaves. Add in the chicken stock or you can add tomato paste.
9.Place a heavy plate in the center of the pot on top of the grape leaves; make sure it’s enough to cover most of the grape leaves.
10. Turn on the heat, bring it to boil. Once it boils, cover it, turn down the heat and let it simmer.
11.It will be done once the meat its fully cooked. It should take around 20-30minutes.
Sahtein! (Bon Appetite)