Yebra (Stuffed Grape Leaves) with Apricots
Yebra (Stuffed Grape Leaves) with Apricots Jacqueline Elbaz /


  • 40 stuffed grape leaves (recipe follows)
  • 1/3 cup tamarind paste
  • juice of 2–3 lemons
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cups Turkish apricots, soaked in warm water for 10-15 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon Tuscanini Olive Oil

Stuffed Grape Leaves:

  • 1–1 and 1/2 pounds chopped meat (can use chicken or turkey)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • allspice
  • 1 jar of grape leaves (I use Orlando)

Prepare the Stuffed Grape Leaves:

Drain the leaves.

Under running water, separate each leaf, cutting the stem. Rinse and drain the rice in a colander.

In a bowl, mix chopped meat with rice and spices. Place a grape leaf facing down on flat surface, veined side up. Place one to two teaspoons of meat in the middle , fold in the sides, and roll upwards like a cigar or egg roll.

Freeze on a lined tray; it’s best to cook when frozen. Freeze up to four months.

Prepare the Yebra:

Place half the apricots in the bottom of a pot.

Drizzle with two tablespoons tamarind paste and juice of one lemon. Top with grape leaves. Cover tightly then cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Cover with the rest of the apricots and the remaining tamarind, lemon, and olive oil. Add some water until covered but not submerged. Use either a glass plate (old way trick!) or a small pot cover so as not to let the grape leaves open. Cook low and slow on a low flame for at least 45 minutes…the longer it cooks, the better! Rule of thumb, Syrian food tastes better the next day! This freezes gorgeous!

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