Monday, June 25, 2007
Abrak: stuffed vine leaves
FILLING (enough for around 30 Abrak pieces- lots of time consuming chopping)
3/4 cup uncooked short grain rice
2 cups finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped spring onion (green stuff too)
1 tomato, diced
1 chili pepper, diced
1 headed tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp red/chili pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 a cup of oil (or 2 spoons of ghee, for more authentic taste but less healthiness)
250g finely diced mutton should have some fat- like minced meat (which can be used as a hassle-free alternative)
Make rice nice & glossy with the oil or ghee first, add the other stuff and mix.
if you're using pickled vine leaves just rinse.Fresh (must be young) vine leaves need to be dipped in boiling water for a few secs.Remove any big stalks & trim into roughly square shapes...and you're ready to roll: place about a tsp of filling at the edge of the leaf, roll it up neatly and fold in the edges to make a tight parcel - this should be about finger width.
Cover the bottom of a non-stick pan with potato slices.Pack the Abrak into the pan.Pour 1/2 a cup of hot water (+ 1 tbsp oil + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp mixed spice) on the Abrak.Cover with a plate and press so it keeps them tightly packed.Cover the pan and put on medium heat till most of the water has evaporated, then on very low.Total cooking time can be 45mins-1hr, so keep tasting!!
The blanching in hot water goes for cabbage leaves too, only you have to add cumin to the filling.
Stuff the Abrak filling into pretty much any veggies you want (potatoes, onions, baby aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, chili & bell peppers..).
Cook like Abrak, or use the oven. In the latter case cover with foil till cooked, then grill for a bit of colour.