Koubebia is a very traditional Cypriot dish and there is no mother or grandmother that doesn't know how to prepare them. In Greece they have something similar called Dolmadakia, but Koubebia is Cypriot and basically it is minced meat and rice wrapped in vine leaves.
1/2 kg of minced meat
1 large onion chopped very finely
5 stalks of fresh parsley chopped finely
1 tsp of dried mint (rub between hands to make into fine powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of rice
5 tablespoons tomatoe juice
40 vine leaves
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tomatoe juice
30 ml water
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. If you will be using fresh vine leaves, soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then in cold water to stop the cooking process. This ensures that the vine leaves will not tear when stuffing them. If you will be using bottled vine leaves, soak them in luke warm water for 10 minutes.
3.Use one tablespoon of mince mixture for each vine leaf. Place the mince mixture on the edge of the vine leaf and roll slightly to cover the mince mix, fold over the sides of the leaf and then roll again until you have used all of the leaf. Keep doing this until all the mince mix has been used.
4.Take a saucepan that will fit all the Koubebia and pour in 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil. Pack the Koubebia tightly in concentric circles in the saucepan. Continue this until multiple layers are formed and all the Koubebia are used.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of tomatoe juice over the Koubebia and place a plate that fits into the saucepan ontop of the Koubebia to hold them down during the cooking process.
6.Pour 30ml of water over the plate that is covering the Koubebia and close the saucepan with its lid.
7. Cook over low heat for 30-35 minutes. Check if the water and tomatoe juice have been absorbed by the Koubebia every 7-8 minutes. If yes, add a few more tablespoons of water. You will know the Koubebia are cooked by opening one and if the rice is soft(cooked), the Koubebia are ready to eat.