Update: after you read this post and roll your yebra, go ahead and cook it!
Yebra, or stuffed grape leaves, is a traditional Syrian food that can be prepared in a few different ways. But before you can eat it, you have to actually stuff and roll the grape leaves with hashu (there’s a pareve version, too). To make a whole 16-oz. jar of grape leaves, you need to double the hashu recipe.
I actually used a slightly different recipe for hashu. This one is from a cookbook called Deal Delights, a pretty old book with traditional Syrian recipes.
Hashu ingredients (doubled from original recipe):
- 2/3 cup of white rice, rinsed
- 2 pounds chopped meat
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper.
Mix all ingredients together in bowl.
To stuff the grape leaves you will need:
- A colander to rinse each individual leaf
- A knife to cut off the end of the stem
- A board to work on
1. Place leaf vein-side up on board (I used a plastic cutting board) and cut off the thick stem on the bottom. Place about a tablespoon of hashu in the center of the leaf (near the bottom edge) and roll the sides over it. Roll up, tucking in the sides that start sticking out. Place on parchment-lined sheet to freeze. Continue until you finish the hashu or the grape leaves.
2. If you have leftover hashu, take about two tablespoons and form into ball. We always fight over these!
3. With the leftover grape leaves, you can make pareve yebra, or save it for your next batch.
From this batch, I got 66 meat yebra, with eight leaves left over. When I finished a layer, I put a piece of wax paper on top and started again. I put the tray in the freezer – when they are nice and frozen, I’ll switch them to zip top bags. They’ll be ready to use straight from the freezer for a delicious Shabbat meal.
Stay tuned to read how to cook the yebra.