• 12 grape leaves, jarred
  • 1/2 cup ground beef
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tsp Lebanese 7 spice, also known as Baharat
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Hummus, to serve
  • Tabbouleh, to serve
  • Flatbread, to serve
  • Pickles, to serve


  1. Unpack the jar of grape leaves. In a colander, place the grape leaves and rinse the brine using cold water. Set aside to drain excess water.
  2. In cold water, rinse the rice. Next, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, 7 spice, cinnamon, black pepper, and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine and optional to use your hands if easier.
  3. Line the bottom of a large pot with 3 layers of grape leaves (this will prevent the leaves from scorching later).
  4. Working one at a time, place the remaining leaves, vein, and bottom-sides up with the points facing away from you.
  5. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each leaf, then fold the left and right sides over the filling.
  6. Next, roll tightly to make a cigar shape. Place the roll, seam-side down in the lined pot. Continue in this order with the remaining leaves by filling and placing them tightly together in the pot.
  7. Next, place the pot on the stove, and add 1 cup boiling water, the lemon juice, salt and olive oil.
  8. Place a plate on top of the leaves to prevent them from unraveling if needed. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat to medium to low, and cover the pan. Cook until the rice is tender, and the leaves are very tender, about 45 minutes.
  9. Remove the pot and allow to cool. Serve with hummus, tabbouleh, flatbreads, and pickles.