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Yalanchi sarma garnished with lemon

Yalanchi Sarma

Yalanchi Sarma packs a robust punch of flavor and makes a great appetizer or afternoon snack. Bring a plate of Yalanchi Sarma to your next party–whether or not your guests are familiar with Armenian food, the taste is too amazing to resist!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Armenian
Servings 60


  • 1 large jar of Grape Leaves 16 oz.
  • 3 c. chopped onion
  • 1 ½ c. Calrose rise
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ c. pine nuts
  • 1 sm. can of tomato sauce 8 oz.
  • 1 ½ c. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Juice from 2 lemons 6 Tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • A few fresh mint leaves to add to water when baking. Optional
  • 1 ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 tsp. sugar


  • Rinse the rice under cold water in a strainer. Set aside.
  • Dice onions finely by hand or in a food processor. Sauté onions in oil until translucent.
  • Add salt and rice. Cover with hot water and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and add can of tomato sauce, minced parsley, pine nuts, paprika, pepper, sugar, dry mint and lemon juice.
  • Assemble sarma. Flatten a single grape leaf on a plate or cutting board. Snip the stem off the grape leaf. Be sure the thicker veins are on the outside. Put a heaping tablespoon of sarma filling in the middle. Bring the bottom of the leaf up over the filling. Tuck in the sides and roll to the top. Here is a great video explaining how to roll grape leaves.
  • Line an oven-safe pot with a layer of grape leaves. Stack the rolled sarma into the pan. Add a layer of grape leaves over the top and add 1 cup of water and a few fresh mint leaves to the pan (optional). Cover the top with a baking dish for added support and then add the lid on top.
  • Bake at 350° F for 75 minutes.
  • Refrigerate sarma and serve cold.


The number of servings was calculated with two sarmas accounting for one serving. But we dare you not to eat multiple servings!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!