Tahini Dolma (stuffed vine leaves with sesame paste)

Tahini Dolma (stuffed vine leaves with sesame paste)

Monastic Dishes


This is a recipe of fasting which encloses all the nutritional value and care of the Meteora monasteries. Elaborate wrapping, local aromatic stuffing and regional sesame paste which transforms into a velvety sauce and accompanies this delightful dish. Sesame is on be of the most valuable natural gifts and its paste, tahini, maintains the taste and the nutritional value of the seed.


400g vine leaves (canned)
1 medium sized onion (grated)
1 medium sized zucchini (grated)
1 tomato (chopped)
2 tablespoons of parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons of dill (chopped)
1 cup of rice
1 cup of water
Half a cup of olive oil

For the sauce:
1 cup of sesame paste
1 cup of broth from the vine leaves
Juice from 2 lemons
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme


Wash the vine leaves and let them drain well. Sauté the onion and the zucchini with the olive oil in a pot. Add the rice and sauté until it gets sticky. Add the tomato, the seasoning and water. Add salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer until it dries up.  Remove from the stove and let the stuffing cool down. Then add the stuffing and wrap each vine leaf individually.

Cover the bottom of a large pot with the remaining vine leaves and add each stuffed vine leaves next to the other. Overlie a plate and add water until it is covered. Add some olive oil and let them simmer for about 40 minutes.

For the sauce: Put the sesame paste in a basin and slowly add the lemon juice while beating it with a whisk. Then add the broth from the stuffed vine leaves and finally the thyme. Add some water or broth if needed.

The sauce can be added on the stuffed vine leaves of served as a side dish.

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