Lamb Dolmas with Tzatziki Sauce Pressure Cooker Recipe

Recipe Category: Sauce


Lamb Dolmas With Tzatziki Sauce Pressure Cooker Recipe


SERVES 6 to 8 as an appetizer; 4 as a main dish – Cooker: 5- to 7-quart – Time: 10 minutes at HIGH pressure


  • 1 large hothouse cucumber
  • salt
  • 2 cups plain 2% fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  • 1 recipe Fresh Grape Leaves in the Pressure Cooker (p. 238) or 1 (1-pound) jar grape leaves
  • 1 quart water, brought to a boil
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • ¾ pound lean ground lamb
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain white or brown rice
  • ¾ cup grated carrot (1 large carrot)
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants or minced dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, for serving.


  1. Make the Tzatziki Sauce
  2. Cut the cucumber in half, remove the seeds, and cut into ½-inch dice
  3. Remove excess moisture from the cucumber; salt the dice generously and place in a colander
  4. Let drain for 30 to 45 minutes, then rinse and pat dry
  5. In a small bowl, beat the yogurt until smooth
  6. Fold in the garlic, oil, and dill
  7. Season to taste with salt
  8. Fold in the cucumber
  9. Chill at least 2 hours before serving to blend the flavors

Makes 2½ cups

  1. Make the dolmas
  2. Drain the jarred grape leaves, carefully remove them from the jar, and place in a large heatproof bowl
  3. Sort the leaves, selecting the most perfect to stuff, the rest to layer in the steamer basket
  4. Pour the boiling water over them to cover and let soak 15 minutes
  5. Drain and rinse under cold running water
  6. Set aside in a colander to drain
  7. They are packed in brine and very salty so don’t skip this step
  8. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot
  9. Add the onion and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 3 minutes
  10. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes more
  11. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up any clumps with a spoon, until there is no pink
  12. Transfer the onion-lamb mixture to a large bowl
  13. Add the rice, carrot, mint, parsley, currants, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper to the bowl and mix gently with a fork to combine and coat the rice with the oil
  14. To stuff the leaves, line them up in a row, rib side up, on your work surface
  15. Choose a perfect leaf
  16. Trim off the stem, if there is one
  17. Depending on the size of the leaf, place 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the leaf
  18. Shape it into a little log, running side to side across the leaf
  19. Fold the stem over the filling, then bring the sides into the center as you would for an envelope and roll up jelly-roll fashion to make a small, tight, plump cylinder
  20. If you have any tears, snip off a lobe and patch it from the inside
  21. Repeat until the filling is used up
  22. Place the stuffed leaves in a steamer basket as you make them, seam side down, making sure the loose ends are tucked firmly underneath the roll
  23. Arrange them close, side by side, but don’t jam them in
  24. Make as many layers as necessary, separating the layers with extra or torn grape leaves
  25. Pour the water into a 5- to 7-quart pressure cooker and add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt
  26. Insert the filled basket
  27. Pour the lemon juice and the remaining oil over the dolmas
  28. Cover the leaves with a layer of heavy plastic wrap, pressing in around the edges of the basket
  29. Close and lock the lid
  30. Set the burner heat to high
  31. When the cooker reaches HIGH pressure, reduce the burner heat as low as you can and still maintain HIGH pressure
  32. Set a timer to cook for 10 minutes
  33. Remove the pot from the heat
  34. Open the cooker with the Natural Release method; let stand for 15 minutes
  35. Be careful of the steam as you remove the lid
  36. Remove the basket from the pot and let stand 10 minutes, still covered with wrap
  37. When you remove the dolmas, discard the extra leaves
  38. Serve just slightly warm or at room temperature, although traditionally they are served cold
  39. If not serving right away, refrigerate them
  40. They will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days

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