Ingredients: 500 g vineleaves, 400 g medium fat minced mutton or lamb, 4 medium onions (finely chopped and rubbed with half teaspoon of salt), 200 g (1 cup) washed rice, 1.5 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1.5 cups stock or water, 1 bunch parsley, half a bunch dill, half a bunch fresh mint (or two tablespoons dried mint, in which case make the dill a whole bunch), five springs sage, three sprigs rose scented geranium, 1 tablespoon diluted tomato paste (or half a cup tomato juice), one teas poon red pepper paste, half a lemon juice, two cloves garlic.

Put the minced meat, finely chopped herbs, onions, rice, lemon juice, olive oil, tomato paste or juice, pepper paste, salt and pepper in bowl and knead togetber without breaking the rice grains. Wrap in the prepared leaves as descibed in DOLMA? What is it?. Lay the stalks of parsley, dill and mint, sprigs of sage and a few vineleaves on the base of the pan. Arrange the dolma on top and cover wtih another layer of vineleaves.

Place knobs of butter, garlic, dried mint (if chopped fresh mint has not been used in the filling), a few sage leaves and rose scented geranium on top. Place a china plate upside down over the dolma and pour a cup of boiling water into the pan. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Then add half a cup more water and cook gently for about one and a half to two hours until the leaves are tender. Serve on a heated dish and garnish wtth yoghurt, either plain or mixed with crushed garlic and salt.

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Melih Özbek