If using fresh vine leaves you will need to blanch them and leave them to drain. As they’re not always readily available, vacuum packed leaves or jars of leaves in brine work just as well.
Put enough olive oil in the pan to cover the base, turn on the heat to medium and fry the onions until they’re soft but not coloured. Add the rice, stirring it around to lightly coat, then add the juice of one lemon, the herbs, pine nuts and currants – if using.
Add 1 cup of water to the pan, season, stir and cook for 5 minutes until the water is absorbed- then leave to come to room temperature.
Now it’s time to stuff the leaves.
Take one leaf at a time, remove the stalk if necessary, place shiny side down, add 1 teaspoon of filling & wrap. Fold over the sides first, then roll up from the bottom.
Next line the base of a large shallow pan with a few vine leaves to prevent the dolmades from sticking, add the filled vine leaves in circular layers, then pour in enough water just to cover them. Add seasoning, lemon juice and the remaining olive oil.
Cover with an upside down plate to prevent the dolmades from opening, put on the lid and cook for around 45 minutes on a medium heat. Check from time to time, the water should be almost gone, leaving you with just the dolmades and the oil.
Eat at room temperature. Serve with lemon juice, freshly grated black pepper and yoghurt dressing topped with paprika.