1) I was raised to grape leaves stuffed with short grain rice, some people use Basmati.
2) If you can keep the stems of the fresh herbs, as we will use them as a shield in the bottom of the pot and for more flavors.
3) I’ve used chicken stock and chicken bouillon, you can use vegetable stock if desired.
4) I am using grapes leaves from the jar which is widely available here in the USA rather than the fresh. This kind of grape leaves is usually tougher than the fresh so we kind of soften it first in boiling water to decrease cooking time
5) Do not cook the rice, it will cook in the pot stuffed into the leaves.
6) Fresh herb stems add more flavors to the cooking liquids while the grape leaves stems add a very desirable tartness. Place tomato or onion rings to prevent scorching.
7) This is an all time tip from the grannies to keep the leaves firm and in place.
8) I like using ghee or butter, one of my friends told me she uses olive oil as well. This is done to further soften the leaves and to lend them more flavors.