Strictly speaking, Dolmas is a stuffed vegetable, that is, a vegetable that has been hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and the like; stuffed mackerel and squid are also called "dolma." Dolmas is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes originating in Turkey and found from the Balkans to Persia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolmas. Dishes involving wrapping leaves such as young vine leaves or cabbage leaves around a filling are called 'sarma' in Turkish. In other languages, the distinction is usually not made.
Owing its extreme tasty flavor, domlas is a beloved delicacy in many other countries starting with Iran and finishing with the Balkan states.
The stuffing may include meat or not. Meat dolmas are generally served warm like spanakopita, often with sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold. The filling of meatless vegetarian dolmas generally includes onions, parsley, and herbs or spices. Meatless fillings sometimes include raisins, nuts, or pulses. This dish is garnsihed with coriander, dill, mint, pepper, cinnamon and melted butter. Sometimes chestnuts and peas are part of the mix with sour milk often used as a sauce. Aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, quince and apples are also stuffed with lamb meat and also called dolmas.
A regular Greek dolmas is cooked this way- some water is boiled in a pan, where vine leaves are put. If using fresh vine leaves, wash them and blanch in the boiling water. If they're a little tough, leave them in the water a little longer. If using frozen leaves, separate them carefully, rinse and blanch for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and place on a cloth.
Then you need to wash and drain the rice, clean the onions and grate them into a bowl, adding 3 tablespoons of oil. Sauté' the pine nuts onions, rice and the raisins for a short while over low heat. Add 1 cup of water, salt, a little sugar and pepper, not forgetting to cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked. Now it is turn of parsley, dill and mint to dried, finely chopped and added to the rice. The vine leaves with previously cut off the stalks are filled with a teaspoon of filling at the base of each leaf. Now only wrap up into little parcels, folding in the sides as you roll up the dolmas.
Continue to roll up the rest of the leaf so that in the end it has a sausage-like shape. Arrange the dolmas in layers, packed tightly side by side, with the seam end on the bottom. Pour over the lemon juice and the remaining oil -here your domlas is! On the top most layer of dolmas, place a heavy plate, bottom side up, add plenty of hot water to cover the plate, and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for 1 hour.
Serve on fresh vine leaves garnished with slices of lemon. In some Greek provinces, domlas is made of cabbage instead of grape leaves and contains minced pork and rice. It is eaten with boiled potatoes, brown sauce and lingonberry jam.