Different nations have Dolma in their traditional gastronomic traditions, but Armenian Udoli Dolma deserves a special attention.
The recipe of Udoli Tolma, Armenians call Dolma as Tolma, extends back to more than one thousand years. It was found in the ancient scrolls, tenderly recreated, thus it became a property of the Armenian nation.
The tenderest lamb with dried fruit, wrapped in cabbage leaves – that’s a true masterpiece, which was shared with me by the chef of Charles restaurant.
Do you want to try? Of course you do!
Here it goes:
Udoli Dolma Recipe
- 3 lamb ribs
- 20 g dried apricots
- 100 g bulgur
- 200 g cabbage
- 20 g oil
- Parsley, basil, dill
- 10 g tomato paste
- Keep the meat being suspended in the refrigerator at +3 degrees Celsius for 10 days.
- It will soften and get rid of the blood.
- Take the meat from the refrigerator.
- Before the removal of all bones, spice the meat with the dried basil, salt and red pepper. Carefully tenderize it to thin slices.
- Put the bulgur in the boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain it.
- At this time put the pan on the fire.
- Fry the onion in oil until pink.
- Add the bulgur, dill and red pepper.
- Fill each piece of the meat with 3 tablespoons of the filling and wrap in cabbage leaves.
- Put the prepared dolma on the stove, add enough water so it barely covers the dish. Add the tomato paste and dried apricots.
- Cook for 2 hours on low heat.
- Serve hot, seasoned with dill and green onions.
Flavours of Armenia is a separate matter.
Harsh, sweet, lightly smoked and burny, they surround you everywhere in this amazing country. Fruit sauces are bravely served with meat, cheese and cakes. Wine, thoughtfully diluted with chilly ice-clear water, substitute any drinks. Flirty shades of grapevines, bright colors of flower beds and gardens create a natural interior to enjoy meal at any time of the day.
Breakfast in the crystal freshness of the morning. Harsh mountain tops In the distance. Around is quiet and calm. Lunch with a loud family accompanied by noisy bird singing, children’s clatter and chatter, and conversation of the older generation about the most important things. Dinner with the clear rhythm of field-crickets, twinkling of lacy stars and heartbeat.
That’s the life as it is. In Armenia I felt particularly acutely the harmony of contrasts, pleasure of paradox, absolute and pure love and respect for traditions. Including the cooking traditions.