the most delicious almost burnt potato disks!

Wait! Before you freak out, here is a step by step tutorial on how to perfectly roll the vine leaves!

In Palestinian cuisine Wara Enab (filled and rolled vine leaves) are a cuisine staple. These leaves are cooked across the board and are even used to roll meats, and to cover the vegetables when pickling…etc. The Palestinian cuisine however has 2 main ways for cooking vine leaves. We have the appetiser known as Yalangi and the main course version known as wara enab o kusa. The main difference between the two is that the former does not include any meats in the filling, while the main course one includes meat both in the filling along with some pieces cooked with the leaves and stuffed zucchini. I love both concoctions and really, although I do not like to call favourites, Wara Enab o Kusa is by far my most favourite food on earth. It is a weakness and I can never say no to this one. I do explore it fully in my book.

However, today, and keeping in the whole vegan spirit, I am posting the Yalangi recipe. First because it is a delicious recipe for you vegans and vegetarians out there to have, also because back home in Falasteen, this is one of the recipes that the christian community enjoys during their fast. As such am thinking too of those of you who when are fasting are always looking for interesting, filling and delicious recipes to cook. This is an excellent choice, that while a bit laborious and takes a bit of practice, will become a family favourite.

This recipe takes me straight back to my childhood as my mum used to always cook this one whenever she invited her friends. Those potato disks that have soaked the amazing juices as they cooked are to die for. I used to always have the potatoes first, especially those that may have gotten slightly overcooked and stuck to the pot and hence never made it to the serving plate. Those are my favourite! This is not something I can do justice in description, this is one of those things where you have to try to understand. Do try and you shall see!

BTW, this recipe is very different from the Lebanese Wara Enab Bil Zeit or Cold Vine Leaves in Olive Oil (find recipe here). The outcome is completely different. The flavour is not as shallow as those, the flavour here is deeper, earthier and this recipe is much more filling than that one. Also Yalangi can be served cold, however best had at room temperature unlike the Lebanese appetizers.

Finally, along with the vine leaves, a variety of vegetables is included in this recipe. There is the stuffed eggplants, the stuffed kusa, the potatoes, the onions and some stuff the onions, add carrots and stuffed capsicums too. The recipe here is my family’s version and my favourite and is the one am sharing with you here 🙂

The Palestinian cuisine serves a plethora of vegetarian & vegan dishes. I do delve and in depth into that section of the cuisine in my book “Plated Heirlooms”. Grab a copy and enjoy.


  • 5 Small organic eggplants, cored
  • 10 small organic zucchini, cored
  • 1 large organic onion, sliced into disks
  • 4 large organic potatoes, cut into 1 inch thick disks
  • 1 can vine leaves, washed and drained
  • 4 cloves organic garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • juice of 4 organic lemons
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (you can also use chicken broth if you are not vegan or not fasting)

For the Filling

  • 1 medium organic onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch organic parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp finely chopped organic fresh mint
  • 2 organic spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 organic lemon juice
  • 3 cups organic rice, washed and drained
  • 2 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp DS Organic Red Shatta (red chili sauce)
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

Start by making the filling. In a large bowl, mix all the filling ingredients well together. Chill until ready to use.

Core the vegetables (kusa and eggplants) and fill them with the filling. Make sure not to overfill (keep room for the rice to expand) or they will burst during cooking. Set aside.

TIP – you do not have to always stick to the same vegetables. I buy these round kusas from the farmers market and pick the smallest I find. They are gorgeous when cooked and allow me to carry out a different presentation. Play around with the concept, makes it more fun.


Start rolling the vine leaves. (find a tutorial on this link for how to carry out and perfect this technique)

In a small bowl, mix together 2 crushed cloves garlic, 1/4 cup DS olive oil, salt & black pepper. Brush the bottom and sides of your cooking pot with this seasoned olive oil mixture.

Start assembling the layers in your seasoned cooking pot. Place the sliced onions at the bottom of your pot and top with sliced potatoes, followed with the filled eggplants and kusas. Top all with the rolled vine leaves.


In a small bowl, add together the remaining oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt & black pepper and mix to incorporate. Pour over the contents of the pot. Add the vegetable or chicken broth, then add enough water to fill 3/4 the pot. Place cooking weight or a heavy heat proof plate on top to hold everything in place while cooking.

Place on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until done (about 1hr – 1:30 hrs).

Best Served warm or at room temperature. Goes very well alongside a yogurt and cucumber salad or a regular simple salad.

TIP  – if you have extra uncooked rolled vine leaves, place them in a freezer-safe container, cover and wrap with nylon. Freeze for up to 3 months. This is handy, as you can roll leaves in advance, and just use them when needed. Saves time on busy days.


How likely are you to give it a try? I would love to know…

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