1 cup uncooked basmati brown or traditional white rice
2 large tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 bunch parsley
1 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
one 16 oz jar of grape leaves
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 large carrots
1. Mix all ingredients except grape leaves, tomato sauce, water, and carrots in a bowl.
2. Remove grape leaves from jar, unfold, and rinse with water. Place grape leaves with the rough side up, one at a time, on a large, flat plate. Be sure that the pointy parts of the leaf are directed away from you and the flatter edges and stem are towards you.
3. Place one teaspoon of the mixture on the bottom of the leaf, near the stem, and arrange it lengthwise using your fingers. First roll the flat edges near the stem upwards and tuck them slightly under the filling.
4. Then applying pressure to keep the leaves rolled tightly, tuck one side at a time of the two parts of the leaf pointing outwards. Now, roll the rest of the way upwards still applying pressure to keep the leaf tight.
5. Cook sliced carrots in water until tender. Cover the bottom layer of a large pot with these carrots.
6. Begin layering the stuffed leaves above the carrots and be sure that they are packed tightly together; otherwise they may fall apart during cooking. Each layer of leaves should be in varying directions across the pot.
7. Pour the tomato sauce and water over the leaves and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and place a flat plate (glass or stoneware) upside down over the top layer of leaves, and press down as hard as you can.
8. Leave the plate in place during cooking. Cover the pot with its cover as well, and cook for 40-45 minutes. Check one leaf to see if rice has cooked fully.
9. Serve warm.
*Makes approximately 40.