How to Make the Best Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves, Warak Enab, Dolma for Ramadan with Dalya Ayoub

Crescent Wealth has teamed up with the Shahrouk sisters to bring an incredible Ramadan cooking series to our members and community. Featuring renowned guests and community influentials, this show will provide new insight into the culinary storm that comes with the month of Ramadan!

Most famous for their appearance on the show Family Food Fight, the Shahrouk sisters, originally Lebanese, were the first Muslim contestants to win the acclaimed show.

Taking the country by storm, their culinary ingenuity was praised and recognised nationally.

Dalya Ayyoub, are honourable guest, needs no introduction in the Muslim community. She is the founder and CEO of Life Matters Academy; a dream noted in 2010 and realised in 2015.

She is a personal development and coaching program consultant, success and relationship Life Coach at Life Matters. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Political Science and a minor in Linguistics at the University of Auckland in 2005.

She graduated with a Certificate in Management from Victoria University in 2009 after completing the Believe-Achieve-Inspire Leadership program (BAILP).

Later in 2010 she became a certified Life Coach through Australia’s leading establishment, The Coaching Institute. She further trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Train the Trainers Certification and Relationship and Family Coaching.

She completed a Masters in Islamic Studies at Charles Sturt University (2015), writing her thesis on ‘Success from the Islamic perspective’, and hopes to couple this Islamic knowledge with her Life Coaching skills to offer a truly effective and pioneering service to the community.

Dalya has also been conducting Islamic study circles and working with non-for-profit organisations for the last decade. She is regularly invited as a keynote speaker in reputable conferences, schools and organisations around Australia and overseas. She delivers talks, lectures and seminars in both Arabic and English, with a particular focus on building and inspiring Muslim women.

So here it is, the secret easy recipe to a yummy Warak Enab, the ultimate vitamin a, and vitamin c dish. Also known to Turkish people as dolma the greeks as dolmades (stuffed grape leaves recipe) that will take you back to the Middle East!

Watch the full episode here:


Serves: 8-12

Prep time: 2 hours

Cooking total time: Traditionally 24 hours

Fast-tracked in a pressure cooker: 2 hours


1 kilo vine leaves

1 kilo lamb necks

1/2 lamb brisket

500gm lamb mince

4 cups of sunrise medium grain rice(washed and drained)

1.5 litres fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons ghee

1 level tablespoon cracked black pepper to season

1 level tablespoon mixed spice(can be purchased from middle eastern grocers)

1 level tablespoon dried mint

Salt to season (approximately 2 tablespoons)


1-Trim vine leaves from stalk and stack into piles of 10

2-In a pot of boiling water blanch vine leaves for 20 seconds, remove immediately and drain.

3-Prepare stuffing mixture . In a bowl add rice , uncooked lamb mince, salt , black pepper, dried mint and mix well

4-In a pot of cold water add lamb necks and lamb brisket and bring to a boil. Remove and drain the meat and add salt and mixed spice and mix well.

5-Arrange the boiled lamb in the pot as a base to lay the wrapped stuffed vine leaves

6-Spread a vine leaf on a tray/workspace area and add 1 teaspoon of rice mixture at the wider end on a log shape. Fold both sides and wrap into a neat roll. Repeat process with all the remaining vines and rice mixture

7-Arrange the vines very closely together, ensuring no spaces between.

8-Add ghee and lemon juice to the pot .

9-Place a heavy weight on top to ensure the wrapped leaves stay in shape

10-Add cold water till approx. 2cm over weighted plate

11-Bring to the boil and simmer for 12-24 hours depending on quantity

12 -Flip the pot immediately before eating

Shahrouk Sisters Sister TIPS

Use ground lamb or ground beef.

Use fresh herbs

Compliment with veggies (zucchini)

Make gluten free or vegan (vegetarian stuffed grape leaves)

Use olive oil or other healthier options

Good as a main meal or as an appetizer/side dish

Use short grain rice if you prefer a crispy taste

Increase cooking time if you prefer

Make carbohydrates free

Rapid Fire Questions with Dalya Ayyoub

We interviewed Dalya and got to hear our respected sister share some interesting personal insights!

1.What is one thing people would find surprising about you?

A- My husband and I share the same last name, Ayoub, but we are not related in any way (and I didn’t change my surname to his either)— I actually made du’a when I was 16 years old to marry someone with the same last name as mine but not from my family! (True story!!)) and subhanallah; the power of du’a that seems almost impossible; it did happen! Alhamdulillah

2.What are your hobbies?

– I enjoy doing nothing, I call it recharging, reflection or stillness… and I also love photography; taking pictures of trees, plants, mosques, doors and clouds specifically

3.What are you passionate about?

– I am passionate about reviving Islam in my heart, every human heart, our homes and the world — this deen is the only thing that has the power to take anyone from misery to goodness in this life and the hereafter…I’m passionate about being a tool that helps people reclaim their deen for ultimate success and contentment

4.What are you excited about these days?

A- My mentoring program where I’m working closely with 12 amazing women, the Seerah course I’m running for the year and Ramadan coming up in sha Allah!

5.Favorite Food- Why?

Wara’ enab (stuffed vine leaves, Dolma) because it reminds me of my grandmother and my motherland; Palestine, it’s also simply so delicious… especially the chunky ones that have opened up during cooking and the rice is popping out of them!

6.What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

– Laundry

7.What are 3 things people should know about you?

– I love the pious ones yet I never see myself as one of them

– I’m an inner peace seeker

– I want to free Palestine and live there, in sha Allah

8. What’s your life motto?

– Do good with faith; and you shall live a good life.

Motto derived from verse 97 in Surat al- Nahl:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

9.What’s the most surprising moment in your career?

A- No surprises, just gratitude for humbling moments like when a husband of a woman you helped calls you a few months later to say “thank you for saving our marriage” or when I sister tells me “you changed my life”; Alhamdulilah

10. Best piece of advice you received?

– Get over yourself

We hope you enjoy cooking some of the recipes we shared and most importantly are able to treat some of your loved ones. So stay tuned for more exciting recipes and guests, as we commit to the cause of community and bring to you a month unlike any other.

Crescent Wealth Super first and largest sharia-compliant ethical super fund was absolutely delighted to have Craig Foster AM, Mr Jihad Dib MP, Dalya Ayoub join us for this episode. We hope that others – can find the opportunity to bond and further mutual understanding in the pluralistic society we live in. Food is one of many ways individuals can come together, with a common purpose and build relationships.

Did we make you hungry with all this talk of food, halal food and multicultural cuisine? Don’t worry! Crescent Wealth Super is giving a $100 Uber Eats voucher as a Ramadan gift.

It was an absolute pleasure having Dalya Ayyoub on our show. Join us next time for more mouthwatering Greek, Mediterranean, Turkish, Greece, Egyptian, Persian and Lebanese recipes.

Feelgoodfoodie after reading our insane recipe on Lebanese stuffed grape leaves? Go in the run to win our Uber Eats voucher and order yourself a Warak Enab! 

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