Warak Enab (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Stepping into his mother’s kitchen, OBE Organic’s intern, Sari Akkad is transplanted to a place of warmth and memories. In her kitchen, the air is filled with that very special smell of Warak Enab.


  • 1 jar of grape leaves (about 40-50 leaves)
  • 1 cup of short-grain rice
  • 250g ground beef or lamb
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Greek yogurt (optional, for serving)


  1. Prepare the Grape Leaves:
    • Drain the grape leaves from the jar and rinse them under cold water to remove excess salt.
    • Carefully separate the leaves, being cautious not to tear them.
  1. Prepare the Filling:
    • Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the rice, ground meat, chopped onion, tomatoes, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and paprika. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  1. Stuff the Grape Leaves:
    • Lay a grape leaf flat on a clean surface, vein side up, with the stem facing you.
    • Place about a tablespoon of the filling near the stem end of the leaf.
    • Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold the sides of the leaf inward, and roll it up tightly to form a cigar-shaped roll.
    • Repeat the process with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
  1. Cook the Warak Enab:
    • Line the bottom of a large pot with a few grape leaves to prevent the stuffed leaves from sticking to the bottom.
    • Place beef steak slices or chunks on the bottom of the pot.
    • Arrange the stuffed grape leaves on top of the beef, seam side down, in a single layer.
    • Pour the water over the grape leaves.
    • Place a heatproof plate on top of the stuffed grape leaves to keep them from unraveling during cooking.
    • Cover the pot and cook over low heat for about 45-50 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the grape leaves are tender.
  1. Serve:
    • Once cooked, remove the plate from the top of the grape leaves.
    • Serve the Warak Enab hot or at room temperature, garnished with lemon wedges and accompanied by Greek yogurt if desired.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Warak Enab!

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