The story of one dish. Tolma: from the birth to stomach. By one Armenian girl. Tell me what you eat. … and I tell who you are.
Tolma: from the birth to stomach
By one Armenian girl
… and I tell who you are.
Well, not quite. “Tolma” is very popular meal among many nations, and now it is hard to tell where it originally came from. During the time Armenian, Greece, Georgian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Romanian, Russian, etc. developed their own variations, and often gave their own names, and now the differences are obvious. Of course, everyone claims its variant being if not the first, at least the best :o) But this claim also became senseless, since lots of variants appeared in the same national cuisine depending from the place of living, preferences and creativity of people, and even the time of year :o) Furthermore, each family developed its own traditions, and the tastes and preferences also differ. The one thing remained: it is a traditional “national” meal, family meal, as well as tasty and satisfying meal.
So what is the same and main in all “tolma”-like meals. Briefly, it’s some stuff filled in some vegetable or wrapped in some leaf. Well, “vegetable” can be a tomato, eggplant, pepper, apple, quince, squash, zuccini, potato, etc., and the “leaf” can be a grape, bean, cabbage or even onion leaf, and the main component of “stuff” can be various types of meat with some rice, or mainly rice or there is a version with mixture of bean/pea family members. Among other components are onion, tomato, herbs, spices, etc. Of course, you can put in the pot cut apples, nuts, dry fruits, onion, etc. After cooking (boiling) you serve it hot if it is with meat, and you usually have it cold with things other than meat.
Tips. If the wrapping will be with only cabbage, then take 2 kg
You can have a few apples and quinces as well.
Use half-ready/prepared quinces (boil a little).
Tip. Treat apples and quinces like tomato.
You have a choice with eggplant; to have it unpeeled, to have it “dressed” like zebra, or to be “naked” (rare). Depends on the quality of the eggplant and your taste.
Tip: Cabbage is preferably to be with gentle and big leaves for easy and nice wrapping.
Tip: you can put a little sugar in the apples.
Tip. Remember, everything needs some practice :o)
Tip. You can add cut apples, onion, dried fruits, etc.
Tip. To be sure if tolma is ready, check the rice.
Tip: You can decorate with herbs, have it with tomato sauce, etc.
Have a nice appetite!
Ok, now it’s time for you to invent your own “tolma”. You are free to create, although it will be hard to invent something new, but you have whole variety of vegetables and fruits in US, not talking about genetically modified ones :o)