Stuffed vegetable tastes so delicious. But do you know where did this concept come from?
Dolma is a stuffed dish made with vegetables, fruits, and seafood. Dolmas are wrapped with grape, and cabbage leaves, often served hot or cold. Do you know it is eaten and fed both in India and abroad? But scholars say that it originated in Armenia, so let's learn the whole story behind dolma.
It is said that when Alexander marched into the city of Thebes in 335 BC, he was greatly impressed by a platter filled with stuffed vine leaves. It was different for them to see something like this in a city going through a food shortage. When he went to the kitchen, he found that the Greek warriors were wrapping leftover food, meat, etc., in grape leaves. He got so impressed that Alexander made it a part of his military diet. It is said that dolma also travelled around the world with him.
Interestingly, the modern transformation of Armenian national cuisine took place in India, particularly in West Bengal. People used to plant grape vines for fruit and make dolma for a long time. And for almost a decade, the dolma was also accepted in other places as time passed. Cabbage leaves replaced grape leaves, and the meat was replaced by hilsa or other fish. Nowadays, potato and tomato dolma are also in trend.
A festival of this traditional food, 'dolma', is also celebrated on the occasion of New Year. The first Panamanian Dolma Festival was observed in the year 2011. First, the aim was to popularize the conventional Armenian dolma. Second, the purpose was to negate the dolma's wrong opinion about Turkish origin. During this festival, many cooks and locals prepare traditional dolma in their way. At least 60 types of dolma are presented in this festival, and dance is performed along with the national song. After tasting these dolmas, the judge announces the winners.
Pastus means fasting, and pasuts tolma is a traditional Armenian dish of red or black beans, lentils, peas, green peas, bulgur and rice, wrapped in cabbage or grape leaves. This popular dolma is served cold and specially made on Easter.