Serving
Click to Enlarge

Melon Dolma
Armenia
  -   Missov Sekhi Dolma
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
1-1/2 hr  
Most

This unusual, highly aromatic dolma is certain to please. As a main dish it can be a bit sweet (depending on your melon) but not cloyingly so. It can also serve as a side dish. It's easy to make and can be done ahead to any point through stuffing - see Photo Gallery. Adjust amounts for the size of your melon.



5
1
7
-----
1/2
1
1/3
1/3
1
1/4
-----
2
#
#
oz
---
c
c
c
c
t
t
---
T
Melon (1)
Meat, ground (2)  
Onion
-- Stuffing
Rice, long grain
Water
Pine Nuts
Currants (3)
Salt
Pepper
----------
Oil
Prep   -   (20 min)
  1. See which way your melon sits comfortably and slice off the top just deep enough so you can remove the seed mass. Scrape it out down to fairly firm flesh. Keep the top.
  2. Trim MEAT of any excess fat and grind (UK mince) or chop very fine (US mince).
  3. Chop ONION small.
  4. Mix all Stuffing items.
Run   -   (1-1/4 hr)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. In a spacious coverable sauté pan, heat Oil and fry Meat and Onions, stirring until onions are translucent and meat is lightly browned.
  3. Stir in Stuffing mix. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer very slowly until rice has absorbed all the water and is nearly done. Stir once or twice.
  4. Stuff the Melon. Set the top on and fasten with tooth picks.
  5. Set Melon in a suitable well oiled pan and bake at 350°F/180°C for about 1 hour (for a 5 pound melon), a bit more if the stuffed melon was refrigerated, a bit less for a smaller melon.
  6. Hoist Melon out of the pan and serve. This can be done several ways. The entire melon (less top) can be presented at the table and a sharp edged serving spoon used to scoop out stuffing and melon as needed, or individual portions of stuffing and melon can be set up in the kitchen, with melon chunks mixed into the stuffing or on the side.
NOTES:
  1. Melon:   The melon in the photos was a 5-1/4 pound Santa Claus melon (very sweet), the only variety properly ripened at the market that day. Traditionally, a Persian mellon or cantaloupe type with orange flesh or a Hami Mellon would be used, but any reasonably sweet melon with a tough rind will work just fine.
  2. Meat:   Traditionally, in keeping with their Muslim neighbors, Armenians used lamb or mutton with beef an occasional alternative. Near Eastern Armenians still stick with lamb but Armenians in Armenia, ever since their stint as part of the Soviet Empire, hold pork in highest esteem. I used 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork but all beef would be fine too.
  3. Currents:   Real currents are very rare around here, and even in Europe. Zante Currents, actually dried champaign grapes, are common and work fine. Even small black raisins will be fine.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
tmm_dolmamel1 080703 tar44, inet   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@aaxnet.com - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.