stuffed chard (pazi sarmasi)


*Turkce tarif icin yazinin sonuna bakiniz.

It took me about 8 years to know that “pazi” was indeed “chard” that was so readily available in the US. I missed this vegetable so much when I moved to the US… I guess the ones here look slightly different and sold in smaller batches, so I never suspected… Until I ate it somewhere, and knew immediately what it was… from the smooth, buttery, melt in your mouth texture…

People get upset with me because I admit to not liking “stuffed grape leaves”.  This behavior is so shunned upon in Mediterrenean culture. It’s like admitting not liking “1/4 lb charbroiled burger” in the US. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat stuffed leaves and I will appreciate them when they are served… but for me “pazi sarmasi”, translation “stuffed chard” is the king of all stuffed cousine for me… and grape leaves are a little too tough to chew on and a little too sour for my taste… “chard” wins against all my menu choices if a restaurant offers them… I get happy and I want to hug the chef when a restaurant indeed offers them…

For my US readers: the stuffed leaves that you have eaten or will find in the Mediterrenean stores in the US usually comes from “pickled” leaves.. and they are usually cold served appetizers… we call these dishes “olive oil foods”.. you can find them under “zeytinyaglilar” section in all Turkish food books… This recipe is different.. it’s served warm and it’s an entree. I might post the olive oil version in the future… we actually have a grape vine in our garden and the leaves are so perfect to make this dish…

Please email me if you have any questions…  I did my best to write a very detailed explanation, and posted pictures… I can I guess make a video if needed, or if this recipe is a hit with readers.

I am sure Turkish friends already have a recipe in their family for the “stuffed” foods that we generally call “dolma”… so, Turkish cooks out there, skip the ingredients part… and if you want to try something different, try the lemon/mint/garlic mixture as topping…I guarantee results on that one…


Stuffed Chard -serves 6-7 people.

(you might end up having more stuffing. If so you can keep this in the freezer and use it to stuff eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, etc)


  • 1 lb ground beef (%20 fat or more is needed, anything less will become a stuffed ball)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup +1 tablespoon rice (use some starchy rice, I prefer to use RICELAND extra long grain. Although excellent, Uncle Ben’s or Basmati will not work for this recipe. Mexican rice or some Asian rice with high starch content will work as well)
  • 3 cups water
  • 12-15 chard leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Family secret topping (not so secret now)

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint

This is the 1st time I prepared stuffing with precooked onions and rice. Usually all ingredients are mixed raw. I loved how this method turned out and will continue to cook it this way.  I think, since chard cooks so easily, it helps to cook some of the ingredients beforehand.

-Wash the chard leaves at least 10 times 🙂 -they have so much sand in them that might not even be enough… wash as many times as you wash your spinach 🙂

-In a big, wide pan boil water.

-Put 2 tablespoons of the butter and diced onions in another sautee pan. Cook until onions are golden color… don’t let the butter burn. Add the rice and 1 cup of water into the pan.  Close the pan and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes until rice is almost cooked and the water is fully absorbed.

-When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from heat. Add the ground beef, pepper, salt, parsley to the mixture. With wooden spoon, or your hand mix for 3-4 minutes until well blended.

– Turn off the heat on the boiling water to low. Put water and ice in a deep bowl. Put the chard leaves in the boiling water… Wait 2-3 minutes and then put them immediately in ice water to stop cooking. Repeat process for all chard leaves… (cook until barely softened… if unsure, better for them to cook less then more.. they will tear if overcooked)

-Get comfortable in a chair… Put stuffing, leaves in separate bowls. Get a wide pan and put it next to your bowls. (this pan will be used for cooking, make sure it’s wide enough to fit at least a dessert plate)

-Put 1st leaf on a cutting board. Take out the stalk as seen in picture. Press on the small veins with the back of a knife. Everything should be pretty much flat. Divide each leaf to approximately 4″x4″ pieces. 

-Put about 1 teaspoon of stuffing in the lower middle area of the piece. Fold two sides onto the stuffing. Then roll the lower side all the way to the top as if rolling a cigar. (never did that, but I imagine it should be similar). Put on some music, go slowly. It will take time… but it pays off… (the hands in the above pictures belong to my MIL. so get help if you have any in the house at least for the rolling part)

-Put the stalks under the wide pan that will be used for cooking. This will avoid the leaves to stick to the bottom of the pan.

-Start from edge of pan, move towards the center… You want to make sure the open sides of the leaves are facing below so when cooking the stuffing will not come out. You can put them on top of each other… Even 4-5 layers are OK…

-After all leaves are rolled, cut up the remaining of the butter and put on the leaves. Pour 2 cups water that is mixed with tomato paste onto the leaves. Add the secret topping.

-Put a porcelain plate on top of the leaves. Close the lid of the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes on medium heat.

Serve when slightly cooled. Add a dallop of whole milk, plain yogurt if you want to enjoy it like the Turkish…

Afiyet olsun… g.

Pazi sarmasi  6-7 kisilik


  •  500 gram yaglica kiyma
  • 4 corba kasigi tereyag
  • 2 orta boy sogan, dogranmis
  • 1 kahve fincani pirinc
  • 3 bardak su
  • 12-15 buyuk pazi yapragi
  • 1/4 bardak dogranmis maydanoz
  • 1.5 tatli kasigi tuz
  • 1 kahve kasigi karabiber
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

Aile sirri sos (uzerine)

  • 1 limonun suyu
  • 3-4 dis sarimsak
  • 1 corba kasigi kuru nane

1-2 tane okudugum tarifte soganlar ve pirincler onceden pisiriliyordu. Ben de boyle denedim ve cok begendim. Tercih ederseniz, icini cigden de hazirlayabilirsiniz. Pazi yapraklari cok narin oldugundan hemen pisiyorlar ve pirinclerin onceden pismesi cok daha uygun oldu bence.

-Pazi yapraklarini cok iyi yikayin, cok kumlu oluyorlar…

-Buyuk bir tencerede su kaynatin.

-Kucuk bir tencerede soganlari, 2 kasik tereyaginda pembelesinceye kadar kavurun.  1 bardak suyu ve pirinci ekleyin. Tencerenin kapagini kapatin ve pirincler suyunu cekene kadar 10 dakika pisirin.

-Pirincler pisince tencereyi atesten alin. Kiyma, maydanoz, karabiber ve tuzu ekleyin. Elinizle, ya da tahta kasikla 3-4 dakika iyice karistirin.

– Kaynayan suyun altini kisin. Yapraklari 2-3 dakika biraz yumusayincaya kadar pisirin. Pisirmeyi durdurmak icin, baska bir tarafta hazirladiginiz buzlu suya atin.  Her defasinda 4-5 yaprak pisirin. Cok pisirmemeye dikkat edin, yapraklar parcalanabilir.

-Yapraklarin saplarini kesin ve tencerenin dibine doseyin. Kalan ince saplari bicagin sapiyla veya elinizle ezin. Yapraklar iyice yassi olsunlar.


-Yapraklari 10cmx10cm buyuklugunde kesin.

-Her bir yapragin alt kenarina bir tatli kasigi kadar ic koyun. Once iki yan kenarlari icin uzerine kapatin. Alt kenarindan tutarak, yukari dogru parmak kalinliginda sarin.

-Tencerenin yan kenarlarindan baslayarak ortaya dogru sik bir sekilde sarmalari yerlestirin. Sarma icinin disari cikmamasi icin, yapraklarin acik taraflarinin asagiya gelmesine dikkat edin.

-Butun sarma islemi yapildiktan sonra, kalan tereyagini uzerine kucuk parcalar keserek koyun. 2 bardak suda domates salcasini eritin. Bu salcali suyu ve aile sirri sosu uzerine dokun.

-Agirca bir porselen tabagi sarmalarin uzerine koyun. Tencerenin kapagini kapatip 35-40 dakika orta ateste pisirin.

Biraz sogumasini ve dinlenmesini bekleyin. Uzerine yogurt koyup yiyin.

Afiyet olsun. g.


5 responses to “stuffed chard (pazi sarmasi)

  1. Hmm hmmm hmmmmmm, looking delicious. Pretty soon you will be a serious competition for

  2. yes, I know her website… I use her pastry recipes a lot… I highly recommend it. our entree taste doesn’t match though 🙂

  3. Pingback: Grow it and eat it, but first, plan it « This I Found

  4. Pingback: Chard Dolmas – Pazi Sarmasi « This I Found

  5. Ayse Ok Akkoseoglu

    Cok pratik ve lezzetli gorunuyor, pazi dolmasini cocukken yemistim, pazinin vitamin yuklu oldugunu duymustum ama kendim hic kullanmadim, takiii bu yaz Turkiye de bir arkadasimin yaptigi pazili boregi yiyene kadar, cok lezzetliydi.
    Pazi kullanmadigim icin ingilizcesininde ne oldugunu simdi sizden ogrendim arastirken, cok sagolun, sade ama anlasilir tariflerinizden deniyecegim, pazili dolma ilk sirada, cok tesekkurler,

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