• 12 grape leaves, jarred
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup yellow split peas, cooked
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Large handful of mint, chopped
  • Large handful of dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crispy onions, to serve
  • Garlic yogurt, to serve
  • Lavash, to serve
  • Toasted pita, to serve


  1. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions and crushed garlic until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks.
  2. Next, add yellow split peas and cooked rice. Stir well, then add the turmeric, tomato paste, chopped herbs, and half a cup of water. Then season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.
  3. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat.
  4. Unpack the jar of grape leaves. In a colander, place the grape leaves and rinse the brine using cold water. Set aside to drain excess water.
  5. Line the bottom of a large pot with 3 layers of grape leaves (this will prevent the leaves from scorching later).
  6. Working one at a time, place the remaining leaves, vein, and bottom-sides up with the points facing away from you. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each leaf, then fold the left and right sides over the filling. Next, roll tightly to make a cigar shape.
  7. Place the roll, seam-side down in the lined pot. Continue in this order with the remaining leaves by filling and placing them tightly together in the pot.
  8. Next, place the pot on the stove, and add 1 cup boiling water, the lemon juice, and the remaining olive oil.
  9. Place a plate on top of the leaves to prevent them from unraveling if needed. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat to medium to low, and cover the pan. Cook until the rice is tender, and the leaves are very tender, about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the pot and allow to cool.
  11. Serve warm, or at room temperature, with crispy onions and garlic yogurt, alongside lavash or toasted wedges of pita bread.