Updated: Apr 28, 2019
Dolma means stuffed. These are a variation of Azerbaijani traditional dolma. I baked the stuffed tomatoes in the oven as opposed to cooking them on top stove. Also, I found that cooking them in the oven helped with keeping their shapes intact.
8-10 medium size wine ripened tomatoes
400g minced beef, lamb or turkey
1 large onion, diced finely
1/2 cups of rice (long grain or basmati), riced under running water until water runs clear.
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander and spring onion or tarragon
1/2 tbsp dried or fresh mint
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
(If you would like to spice things up a bit I suggest adding a bit of chopped red chilli. It will add a little heat and flavour of the dish)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
For the Dressing
1 cup yoghurt
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh mint or 1/2 tsp dried mint.
Preheat oven to 200C
You will need a pot in which the tomatoes can be fitted in snuggly.
Using a sharp knife, cut the tops to create a little lid. Scoop the seeds out with the help of a tea spoon. Set the tomatoes aside. In a large bowl mix mince meat, rice, diced onion, herbs, salt and pepper.
Place butter into the prepared pot and melt over a medium heat, add tomato paste and sauté until tomato paste has slightly changed its colour, turn the heat off and set the pot aside.
Fill each tomato with about 50-60g of the mince meat mixture. Fit them in snuggly into the pot with tomato paste. Pour the stock in and making sure the tomatoes are covered not quite to their tops. If you still have some space left between the tomatoes, stuffing this space with some onions will only aid to the flavour.
Place the pot on the cook top and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, then take off the heat, put the lid on and place into preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for further 15 minutes or until the tops have caramelised.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic and season with salt. Mix well, cover and keep refrigerated for the meantime while your tomatoes are baking.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove them from oven, cover with the lid and allow to sit for 20 minutes prior serving. Divide the tomatoes to serving plates and drizzle with yoghurt dressing. This dish tastes fantastic with fresh Tendir Style Bread.