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RECIPE: Black Walnut and Himalayan Red Rice Dolmades with Cucumber-Cumin Raita

Black Walnut Himalayan Red Rice Dolmades with Cucumber-CumRaita. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

Black Walnut and Himalayan Red Rice Dolmades with Cucumber-Cumin Raita. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 29, 2012 8:01AM

Michael Taus’ vegetarian spin on stuffed grape leaves combines local black walnuts, wild mushrooms and red rice. The result is an earthy fusion of flavors.



2 cucumbers, divided

1/2 teaspoon tahini

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, finely minced

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced1 tea

spoon chopped cilantro



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup chopped mixed wild mushrooms
(crimini, chanterelle, shiitake)

1 small carrot, blanched and diced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano or

1/3 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

1/3 cup black walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 cup cooked Himalayan red rice (available at Chinese markets) or basmati rice

36 bottled small grape leaves or 12 large ones

1/4 cup vegetable stock

Chopped cilantro

For the raita: Peel and seed 1 cucumber and cut in rough chunks. Puree with tahini in a food processor. Mix in cumin and yogurt. Dice remaining cucumber and stir it in, along with remaining raita ingredients. Chill until serving time.

For the dolmades: Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft; add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add carrots, herbs and black walnuts, and saute for 1 more minute. Stir in cooked rice; let cool.

Rinse grape leaves in cool running water for 2 or 3 minutes and drain well. Cut off tough stems.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To assemble dolmades, overlap 3 small leaves and place mound of about 1/4 cup rice mixture near base of leaves. Fold sides in and roll up from bottom.

Place grape leaves seam side down in oven-safe glass baking dish and pour stock in bottom of dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until grape leaves become firm and liquid has dissipated.

Serve warm or cold. Spoon raita on center of 4 plates and place 3 dolmades, seam side down, around. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Michael Taus, Zealous

Nutrition facts per serving:

295 calories, 14 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrates, 14 g sugars, 10 g protein, 94 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

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