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Koupepia – stuffed grape leaves (Cyprus)

Koupepia is a traditional dish in Cypriot kitchen which is important during celebrations as well as everyday food. The Cypriot variety of the dolma uses minced meat, rice, onions, tomatoes and a mixture of herbs which is then
carefully wrapped in fresh vine leaves. They are usually made in large batches and can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later time – the dish is in every Cypriot grandmother’s menu.



Ground pork – 500 gr.

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

1 large onion – chopped

White rice – 1 small coffee cup

Tomatoes – 500 gr.

Parsley – ¼ of a bunch

Dried mint – 2 tablespoons

Salt and pepper – to taste

Other ingredients:

Grape leaves (about 50) – 200 gr.

Olive oil – 3 tablespoons

Water – 1 cup

Lemon juice from ½ lemon



Place the grape leaves into a bowl and pour hot water over them.  Let them sit for a few minutes, then remove and let them drain in a strainer.

Pour the olive oil into a saucepan, then lightly simmer the onion, add the ground pork and simmer for a few more minutes.

Now it’s time to add rice, tomatoes, parsley, mint, salt, pepper and cook everything for another 5 minutes.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot.

Lay the grape leaves on the table with the stem-side up. Place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing onto the leaf, tuck in the sides and roll tightly into a cigar shape. Place the stuffed leaf into the pot and continue stuffing the rest of them.

Once you’ve finished stuffing all of them and filled the entire pot, add water, lemon juice and place something heavy to hold them down (e.g. a flat plate turned upside down). Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Let your koupepia sit for a little while, then serve either hot or cold.

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