Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves (Waraa Einab)


In Egypt, preparing Waraa Einab is not just about cooking a delicious meal. It’s a meal that have always brought women in the family together to roll and bond. The traditional recipe is made with white rice and lamb, but here we substitute white rice for brown rice, and of course it’s meat free.



For brown rice filling

  • 1 Cup Long or Short Grain Brown Rice

  • 1/4 Cup Tomatoes, diced

  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, chopped

  • 1 Lemon, Freshly Squeezed

  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

  • 1/4 Tsp Fresh Dried Mint

  • Pinch of ground black pepper

For rolling/cooking

  • 60-70 Grape Vine Leaves

  • 1 Lemon, thinly sliced

  • Water



  1. Soak grape vine leaves in a large bowl of water for 10-15 minutes. Wash the leaves gently, then stack them on a plate and set them aside.

  2. Cover the leaves with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out, until you’re ready to start rolling them.

  3. Place 1 cup of brown rice and 3 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let boil on medium heat, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until half cooked. Drain and let cool.

  4. Add rice to a large mixing bowl and top with diced tomatoes, chopped parsley, lemon juice, ground black pepper and dried mint. Mix well to combine. 

  5. Line the bottom of a pot with some grape leaves, some onions and some lemon slices.

  6. Stuff and roll the rest of the grape leaves. Rolling grape leaves is a bit tedious but think of it as if you’re rolling a wrap. Place 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture into the center of the leaf, then fold the sides on top of the rice, and roll it tight.

  7. Neatly arrange the stuffed and rolled grape leaves in rows, alternating directions, to completely cover the circumference of your pot. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of Oil between layers and on top. Keep oil to the bare minimum though.

  8. Top with thinly sliced lemon.

  9. Place a small plate or pot lid directly on top of the leaves, to prevent them from floating while they cook.

  10. Add water to completely cover the grape leaf rolls and reach the plate or pot lid.

  11. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to medium and let simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

  12. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.

  13. Since cooking time varies by stove top, taste the grape leaves, and if the rice still seems undercooked, you can add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.

  14. Remove from heat and let cool uncovered until you can handle them with your fingers, then carefully transfer them to a serving dish, one by one.

Recipe by Nissrine from