- Jewish Learning
“I lived upstairs from my great grandma until I was 21, and I learned all my Syrian cooking from her. Before Passover we would make yebra (stuffed grape leaves) together. Now my kids make it, too!
Note: This recipe is kosher for Pesach if you have the custom to eat rice on Passover. Everyone else can enjoy it the rest of the year.
40 stuffed grape leaves (recipe follows)
1/3 cup tamarind paste
juice of 2–3 lemons
salt, to taste
2 cups Turkish apricots, soaked in warm water for 10-15 minutes
1 tablespoon Tuscanini Olive Oil
1–1 and 1/2 pounds chopped meat (can use chicken or turkey)
1 cup uncooked rice, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
1 jar of grape leaves (I use Orlando)
Drain the leaves.
Under running water, separate each leaf, cutting the stem. Rinse and drain the rice in a colander.
In a bowl, mix chopped meat with rice and spices. Place a grape leaf facing down on flat surface, veined side up. Place one to two teaspoons of meat in the middle , fold in the sides, and roll upwards like a cigar or egg roll.
Freeze on a lined tray; it’s best to cook when frozen. Freeze up to four months.
Place half the apricots in the bottom of a pot.
Drizzle with two tablespoons tamarind paste and juice of one lemon. Top with grape leaves. Cover tightly then cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Cover with the rest of the apricots and the remaining tamarind, lemon, and olive oil. Add some water until covered but not submerged. Use either a glass plate (old way trick!) or a small pot cover so as not to let the grape leaves open. Cook low and slow on a low flame for at least 45 minutes…the longer it cooks, the better! Rule of thumb, Syrian food tastes better the next day! This freezes gorgeous!
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