Ramadan Recipes – Vegan Stuffed Wine Leaves

Waraq Einab Bil Zeid, or stuffed wine leaves in oil are stable at every Middle Eastern spread during any kind of festivities, especially Suhoors and Iftars. Unlike their meaty counterpart, which is well known world-wide, these delicious vegans healthy cold served threats are relatively unknown to world beyond Middle East. Shame, since they burst with flavor, and are a healthier of two. Hopefully, one humble post can help spread them a little further.

In Middle East, and UAE in particular, each home has its own way of making it. I went to my mother in law for guaranteed authentic traditional Lebanese recipe. This waraq aynab is light and delicious. Best served cold with some pitta bread and hummus spread it can serve as light meal on its own, or part of larger spread as a starter. Either way you would enjoy your stuffed leaves, enjoy this recipe below.

Stuffed Wine Leaves in Oil (Waraq Eineb bil Zeid)

Ramadan Recipes – stuffed wine leaves in oil


1 large (250 g) jar of wine leaves (for this recipe brined one work best)

250 g white rice (best use round one, but basmati works too)

Bunch of parsley (chopped)

2 medium onions (chopped)

4 medium tomatoes (chopped)

2 Tbsp of fresh mint chopped (or 1 Tbsp of dried mint)

4 lemons juice (or more to taste)

50 g olive oil

1 Tbsp of pomegranate molasses or dibs roman (optional)

Salt to taste

2 tsp Lebanese seven spice mix (bhar halou)

Chilly powder to taste (optional)

Sumac powder to taste (optional)

2 large potatoes sliced in thick rounds

1 carrot sliced in thick sticks or rounds (optional)


  1. Rinse wine leaves well, and pat dry. Set aside.
  2. To prepare stuffing mix rice and rest of the ingredients, besides potatoes and carrot in a bowl well. Place in colander to drain, with bowl underneath to collect all juices.
  3. Lay wine leaves on flat surface. For thinner stuffed leaves place only one teaspoon of stuffing in middle and roll. For thicker stuffed leaves place one tablespoon of stuffing in middle and roll.
  4. Place potato and rice on bottom of the bottom-heavy pot. Place orderly stuffed leaves. Make sure they are packed together and layered properly. Add heavy plate on top so stuffed leaves keep shape when cooking.
  5. Add reserved liquid and water to put. You want liquid to cover plate by few centimeters.
  6. Bring to boil. Once on gentle boil, reduce heat and cook for 1 1/2 h. Before switching off stove taste the liquid and adjust seasoning. At this point you can add extra lemon juice or spices. Keep in mind that flavors fully developed when chilled, so under-season just slightly.
  7. Set aside to cool. Cool additionally in fridge (best overnight). If not than at least for 2 hours.
  8. Garnish with lemon slices and pomegranate seeds.


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