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Vegan Dolma Bulgur Wheat Azerbaijan

Dolma with Vegan Mince + Bulgur Wheat

This unique vegan take on dolma consist of grape-leaves stuffed with bulgur wheat, herbs and a flavourful walnut-lentil mince filling. In Azerbaijan, dolma are made as little bite-sized morsels, making them the perfect snack or starter before a meal.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins


Bulgur Wheat Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 4 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 to matoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup mint (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Vegetarian Mince Filling (Optional)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted)
  • 1 tin of brown lentils (drained)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)


  • 300 g jar of vine leaves in brine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Beetroot Yogurt Salad (Optional)

  • 1 cup of greek yogurt (sub for coconut yogurt if vegan)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dill (chopped)
  • 8 baby beetroot (sliced)
  • 1 cup of spinach (wilted)
  • 1/4 cup pecans (toasted)


Bulgur filling

  • In a large bowl, mix together bulgur wheat, spring onions, tomatoes, chopped herbs, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Let soak at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Vegetarian mince filling

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in pan over medium heat and sauté onion until translucent. Add in garlic, tomato paste and mustard seeds and sauté for another minute.
  • Put mixture from pan in food processor with lentils and toasted walnuts. Pulse until mixture is combined but still retains texture.

Assembling dolma

  • Cover the bottom of large pot completely with layers of vine leaves.
  • Open up vine leaves on counter. Place about a tablespoon of the bulgur wheat fillingand 1/2 tablespoon of vegetarian mince in the centre of each leaf (adjustaccording to the size of the leaf).
  • Foldthe sides of the leaves into the centre, then the bottom, then roll tightly sofilling is completely enclosed. If any filling is peaking through, just rollwith another vine leaf. Place rolled vine leaves in the lined pot, fittingtogether as tightly as possible.
  • Pour water over filled grape leaves to make sure they are completely covered, then add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil over.
  • Place tart pan bottom atop leaves in pot; top with heavy heatproof dish or plate to weigh down.
  • Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to very low. Continue to simmer for about 45 minutes, until bulgur filling is tender.
  • Take off heat and allow Dolma to cool in the pot to room temperature before serving. Gently remove from liquid with a slotted spoon to serve.
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Azerbaijani
Keyword Bulgur Wheat, Dolma, Herbs, Middle Eastern