Mouth-Watering Dolma Dalya Recipe From Our Kitchen

Are you tired of eating the same old dishes every week? Are you looking to spice up your meals with something new and exciting? Then, I have just the recipe for you – Dolma Dalya, an Algerian tomato and pepper stuffed vine leaves recipe that will surely take your taste buds on a culinary adventure.

Dolma Dalya is a traditional Algerian dish that bursts with flavors and textures. It is made by stuffing grape or vine leaves with a mixture of rice, minced meat, spices, and vegetables, including tomatoes and red peppers. The filling is then cooked to perfection, creating a tender and juicy layer of goodness within each leaf.

This dish brings together a unique blend of flavors that are sure to delight your palate. With ingredients like cinnamon, garlic cloves, paprika, lime juice, and ras el hanout spice mix, every bite will be packed with aromatic spices that will transport you straight to North Africa.

Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or just switch up your regular dinner routine, Dolma Dalya is the perfect recipe for you. So go ahead and give it a try! Trust me; it’s an amazing flavor experience that you’ll want to indulge in time and time again.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves
Dolma Dalya – Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves

Are you looking for a mouthwatering dish that contains a unique blend of Algerian flavors? Then you’re in luck because this Dolma Dalya recipe is just what your taste buds are craving!

Get ready to indulge in the flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes, red peppers and antioxidant-packed grape leaves, all stuffed with a hearty mixture of meaty basmati rice and savory spices. The combination of spices, including cinnamon and ras el hanout spice mix, will dance on your palate and take you on a culinary journey to the heart of Algeria.

This recipe is perfect for those who want to add a healthy dose of vegetables to their diet. Not only does it incorporate fresh produce, but it also includes food-combining ingredients like garlic cloves, onion, and tomato paste that aid in digestion.

Not to mention, the cooked-to-perfection mixture is easy to prepare and makes a great presentation when served together in small parcels. This dish truly brings the individual components together into one tasty and beautiful whole.

So try this recipe out for your next dinner party or family meal, and let the aroma and taste carry you straight into Algiers. Trust us; you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 A burst of flavors and colors!
A burst of flavors and colors!

Here is a detailed ingredient list for making the Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves recipe, also known as Dolma Dalya in Turkish. This recipe will make around 50 grape leaves. Here are the ingredients:

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grape Leaf Filling Ingredients:

  • 50 grape leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 large vine ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
  • Ice Water for blanching the Grape Leaves

Canned Goods:

  • 400 grams of canned tomato paste


  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe How-To

 These stuffed vine leaves are a delight for the palate and the eyes.
These stuffed vine leaves are a delight for the palate and the eyes.

Now, let’s get to the juicy part, the actual step-by-step recipe for Dolma Dalya – Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves.

Note: The recipe will make about 50 stuffed vine leaves, so adjust accordingly depending on how many people you’re feeding.

Step 1: Prep the Stuffing

In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of basmati rice, 500g of minced meat (like beef or lamb), 2 peeled and diced tomatoes, 1 diced onion, and 3 minced garlic cloves. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of ras el hanout spice mix, making sure everything is well combined.

Step 2: Prepare the Grape Leaves

Rinse and soak 50 grape leaves in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Remove them from the water and place them in a bowl of ice water to cool down.

Step 3: Fill the Grape Leaves

Take one grape leaf, shiny side down and stem side up. Take about 1 tablespoon of filling and place it at the base of the stem. Fold over the sides of the leaf towards the center and begin rolling tightly away from you, tucking in as you go. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and filling.

Step 4: Cook the Stuffed Grape Leaves

In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Layer in some sliced onions, large pieces of tomato, some garlic cloves, stalks from a red pepper, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of paprika, and some reserved filling ingredients like rice or meat.

Add stuffed grape leaves on top if this mixture until they are all used up. Pour in enough boiling water to cover all stuffing ingredients almost completely.

Put a few plates on top to weigh down the dolmas so they don’t float around during cooking. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on medium-low heat for approximately an hour or until everything inside is fully cooked through.

Step 5: Serve

Remove carefully using tongs and serve hot or cold with lemon wedges or a drizzle of olive oil, alongside some yogurt sauce or tzatziki. These dolmas stuffed with vine ripened tomatoes and minced meat make a perfect addition to any Mediterranean feast!

Substitutions and Variations

 A taste of Algeria in every bite!
A taste of Algeria in every bite!

While this recipe for Algerian tomato and pepper stuffed vine leaves is already packed with flavor, there are still some variations you can try based on your preferences. Here are some substitutions and ideas to make this recipe even more interesting:

– Meatless dolma: if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version of this dish, you can simply leave out the minced meat in the stuffing mix. Replace it with more rice or other grains such as quinoa or couscous.

– Rice varieties: this recipe calls for a combination of basmati rice and long grain rice, but you can experiment with different types of rice for slightly different textures and flavors. For example, jasmine rice or Arborio rice can add a subtle sweetness and creaminess to the dish.

– Stuffed vegetables: while stuffed vine leaves are the most common variation of dolma, you can also stuff other vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, or even mushrooms. Make sure to par-cook the vegetables in boiling water or roast them before stuffing.

– Custom spice blend: ras el hanout is a popular North African spice mix that adds warmth and complexity to this recipe. However, if you don’t have it on hand or prefer a different blend, feel free to use your own spice mix such as cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric.

– Tomato sauce: instead of adding chopped fresh tomatoes to the stuffing mix, you can stir in tomato paste or canned diced tomatoes for a richer sauce that will keep the dolmas moist when baking.

– Spicy kick: if you like heat in your dishes, add some chopped red pepper flakes along with the ras el hanout. You can also drizzle the assembled dolmas with harissa sauce before baking for an extra kick.

Remember that each variation you make will affect the overall taste and texture of the dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own favorite combination!

Serving and Pairing

 Discover the perfect combination of tomato, pepper, and vine leaves.
Discover the perfect combination of tomato, pepper, and vine leaves.

Once your dolma dalya is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy it! This traditional Algerian recipe is a great addition to any family or special occasion gathering.

When it comes to serving, dolma dalya can be enjoyed either hot or cold, making it a versatile dish for any season. In Algerian culture, dolma dalya is often served as a main course accompanied by a fresh salad and some crusty bread for dipping in the tomato sauce.

Pairing wise, this dish goes well with a variety of beverages depending on your taste preferences. For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, try serving this dish with sweetened Moroccan mint tea or a refreshing glass of lemonade. For those seeking something stronger, a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel complements the tomato-based flavors of the dish perfectly.

Looking to take things up a notch? Transform dolma dalya from being just a delectable entrée into an extravagant dinner party by pairing it with other Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as Turkish stuffed eggplants, stuffed vegetables, or some baba ghanoush. The combination of these flavors and textures will create an unforgettable meal that’s both delicious and healthy.

Overall, serving dolma dalya is not only about providing your guests with a flavorful meal but also showcasing Algerian culture through one of its most popular recipes. So why not give this recipe a try and add it to your next dinner party menu? Your guests are sure to be impressed with the results.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring appetizers, Dolma Dalya is here!
Say goodbye to boring appetizers, Dolma Dalya is here!

One of the greatest things about Dolma Dalya is that you can make it ahead of time for a stress-free serving experience. Once you’ve finished stuffing your vine leaves, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days before cooking.

When it comes to storing and reheating, this dish holds up really well. Store any leftover Dolma Dalya in the refrigerator for up to four days. When it’s time to reheat, place the stuffed vine leaves in a baking dish and add a splash of water. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

If you have an abundance of leftovers or are looking to meal prep, this dish is freezer-friendly. Wrap the cooled stuffed vine leaves tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat from frozen, place the wrapped Dolma Dalya on a baking sheet and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then follow the oven-baking instructions for reheating.

Remember, these steps are just suggestions based on personal experience, so feel free to experiment with different methods to find what works best for you. With proper storage and reheating techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of this Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves Recipe anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Impress your guests with this unique Algerian recipe.
Impress your guests with this unique Algerian recipe.

One of the keys to delicious dolma dalya is properly cooked rice. Be sure to rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking it and add the correct ratio of water to rice. I recommend using basmati rice for its fragrant aroma and tender texture.

Another tip is to use high-quality vine leaves. If you are using fresh vine leaves rather than canned, make sure to blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, then plunge them into ice water. This will help keep them from tearing while you’re filling them with the stuffing.

While ras el hanout spice mix gives dolma dalya its signature flavor, be mindful not to over-season – a little goes a long way! It’s better to start small and adjust as needed.

When you’re rolling the stuffed vine leaves, make sure they are tightly wrapped but not overstuffed. This will help the dolmas stay together during cooking without falling apart.

To prevent your dolma dalya from sticking or scorching on the bottom of the pot, I recommend lining the bottom with sliced tomatoes or onions before adding your stuffed vine leaves.

If you have any leftover stuffing, don’t throw it away! You can turn it into delicious meatballs or koftas by shaping them into balls and baking until golden brown.

Finally, I strongly advise against skipping the lemon juice or lime juice in this recipe. It adds a bright tanginess that perfectly complements the savory spices and balances out the dish’s flavors.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to serving up a batch of perfect dolma dalya that will delight all of your family and friends!


Now let’s move on to the FAQ section of this Algerian tomato and pepper stuffed vine leaves recipe article. I know that there may be some questions or doubts that you might have while preparing this delicious and flavorful dish. Don’t worry, because I’ve anticipated some of these concerns and I’ve got answers to them here in this section. So, let’s dive in and clear out any doubts you might have before getting started with the recipe.

How do you prepare vine leaves for dolma?

To prep the leaves, set up a large pot of water without salt and let it reach a rolling boil. Get a big bowl of ice water ready by filling it two-thirds of the way full. Drop the leaves into the boiling water and let them cook for one to two minutes. Once done, remove the leaves and drain them quickly. To prevent overcooking, immediately transfer the leaves to the ice water to halt the cooking process. After draining them again, gently pat them dry for later use.

Can you use any vine leaves for dolmades?

When the summer season arrives, those blessed with grapevines in their gardens can use fresh vine leaves in various cuisines like dolmades and baked feta. For those who may not have this luxury, preserved vine leaves soaked in vinegar can be easily purchased from stores as an alternative. The leaves would require washing and trimming before use.

How do you eat canned stuffed vine leaves?

When enjoying this dish, it is best to serve it either warm or at room temperature. To prepare it, you have two options. First, if you would like it warmed up, place the closed tin into boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. If you choose to use a non-metallic bowl, empty out the contents and microwave it at full power for roughly 3 minutes. Once ready, consider adding lemon slices or a dollop of yogurt to garnish the dish.

What leaves are used for dolma?

Dolmades, also known as Dolmathes, are Greek dishes featuring either grape/vine or cabbage leaves, filled with a flavorful mix of rice and herbs. These little rolls are boiled until perfectly tender and some variations of the recipe also include minced pork or beef seasoning.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a flavorful and healthy recipe to impress your friends and family, then look no further than the Dolma Dalya – Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves recipe. With its unique blend of spices and ingredients, this dish is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.

Whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow with detailed instructions provided in this article. You can also substitute and vary the ingredients based on your preferences and dietary restrictions.

Additionally, the Dolma Dalya can be served as a main course, side dish, or even as an appetizer. And with make-ahead and storing options available, you can enjoy this dish even when you’re short on time.

So why not try something new and exciting? Get your hands on some of these delicious stuffed vine leaves today and experience the taste of Algeria right in your own home. Happy cooking!

Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves

Dolma Dalya - Algerian Tomato & Pepper Stuffed Vine Leaves Recipe

This is a delicious vegetarian dish which makes a beautiful appetizer, side dish or mezze. This particular recipe is of Algerian origin - it's known as Dolma Dalya or Feuilles de vigne farcies - which I have slightly tweaked to suit my families taste. If you have never made stuffed vine leaves, you may want to take a look at my step by step tutorial here on Zaar :
No ratings yet
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Algerian
Servings 50 stuffed vine leaves
Calories 30.1 kcal


Stuffing Ingredients

  • 50 grape leaves
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large red vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice or 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • salt and black pepper

Sauce or Cooking Broth Ingredients

  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 teaspoon lemons or 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • salt and black pepper


  • Vine Leaves:
  • To prepare fresh vine leaves, trim the stalks & wash the leaves under running water. Blanch in lightly salted water for 15 minutes. Rinse then drain & set aside.
  • To prepare bottled vine leaves, take the leaves out of the bottle & soak in plenty of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Rinse the leaves individually under running water the set aside.
  • To prepare vacuum packed vine leaves, remove the leaves from the packet & soak in plenty of cold water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse the leaves individually under running water the set aside.
  • Finely dice the pepper, tomato & onion. Fry gently in a little olive oil along with the minced garlic for approx 4 minutes. Add the spices & seasoning & cook for a further 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the heat & add the rice, olive oil & water. Set aside.
  • Broth:
  • Finely dice the onion & tomato & fry gently in a little olive oil. Add the cinnamon & seasoning, water, stock cube & lemon / lime juice. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove from heat. At this point, you can do one of three things: liquidize the sauce, strain it to leave just a broth or keep it as it is.
  • Stuff & fold your vine leaves:
  • Remove one leaf from the bowl of water & place in the centre of a dinner plate.
  • Place one teaspoon full of filling into the bottom centre of the leaf - as in the photo.
  • Take the left corner of the leaf & fold up to cover the filling.
  • Do the same with the right hand side.
  • Bring in both sides then gently roll up the leaf.
  • Repeat these steps another 49 times - When folding the leaves, be firm but do not wrap them too tightly as they may split as the rice expands. Also don't be tempted to overfill the leaves either.
  • NB: Most prepacked vine leaves come with their stalks attached. If they are tender you can leave them on - tuck them in the leaf or alternatively leave sticking out for a pretty effect. If the stalks are tough then remove them with a pair of scissors.
  • Place carefully one at a time in a large pot. You can put up to 3 layers in a pot if necessary.
  • Place a large plate or dish over the top of the vine leaves & gently pour the sauce broth over the top. Cover & cook on medium heat for at least 25 minutes; until the vine leaves are tender.
  • My family enjoys these hot or room temperature drizzled with lemon / lime juice & good quality olive oil. They are really good served as an appetizer with a selection of dips such as garlic mayo etc.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 2273gCalories: 30.1kcalCarbohydrates: 5.7gProtein: 0.8gFat: 0.6gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 138.6mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, African, Egg-free, Free Of..., Peppers, Savory, Stove Top, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You