These are a bit time consuming to make, but believe once you make, you will be asked to make again and again. This is vegetarian, but you could add a bit of cooked ground beef to rice stuffing mixture, but awesome even without. Many mediterraen countries make these, but this recipe is authentic Egyptian preparation. Enjoy!
- 1 large green cabbage
- 2 cups short-grain white rice
- 1 onion, grated to almost liquid
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley (finely chopped, including some of the stems)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (finely chopped, including some of the stems)
- 1 bunch fresh dill weed (finely chopped, including some of the stems)
- 2 fresh tomatoes, pureed
- 1 tomato, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- canola oil
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon Arabic spices (see my recipe for Arabic Seven Spice in my recipes)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- Rice stuffing mixture:.
- On top of stove, put a good amount oil or butter; add chopped onion and pureed onion sauté. Add garlic when onions almost finished not to burn.
- Add a spoon of tomato paste and stir around until all coated.
- Add pureed tomato, a few drops of water and cook until liquid is almost gone. It should be a little thick, not too watery. You can add some salt to taste to this too.
- Set aside.
- Put washed rice in mixing bowl. Add the above tomato mixture. Add raw, chopped greens- parsley, dill and cilantro. Its okay to chop some of their stems, gives the mixture more flavor. Add a little canola oil.
- Add all spices and dry mint. Take 1 chicken bouillon cube and crush it, add to rice.
- Mix all ingredients until well blended set aside. Try to taste, will be raw I know, but you can taste and not swallow rice. Adjust seasonings. Salt is most important, if too salty, don’t worry, once cooked it will lessen.
- Cooking Cabbage:.
- This is the trickiest part. I have not yet found the perfect way, but my way has been working alright…here it goes.
- Wash the head of cabbage well. With a paring knife, gently cut around core, loosening it a bit. Try to cup deep, but try not to cut leaves, or separate at this point.
- Using a large pot, fill with water, and a few dashes of cumin. Once boiling, add the head of cabbage, with core facing up.
- As the cabbage starts to cook, with a knife, gently pull away leaves from core and cook until a bit soft, but not translucent.
- So you will have the large head of cabbage in pot and you will be cutting leaves and letting them boil alone aside the head. (Hope this makes sense.).
- When the leaves are a bit soft, tender not translucent, remove to a large tray.
- Continue this until all cabbage is cooked.
- You will have the very small leaves towards inside core, you will be able to use some of these, but some maybe too small. I usually make a cabbage salad with these.
- Once the leaves are cool, you will begin to stuff.
- Rolling/stuffing the cabbage:.
- Prepare a large pot, put some oil in bottom of pot to coat.
- Slice 1 large tomato thinly and place on bottom of pot. You will arrange cabbage in this pot as you roll.
- Take a cabbage leaf and cut from the bottom, where core starts.
- Cut away the hard core and reserve the two sides from leaf making a pile.
- Save a few of the cores stems as well.
- Tricky but you are trying to get a pliable leaf for rolling.
- You want to make the leaf small, cutting a half of the leaf in half. The end result should be size of small cigar.
- Don't worry about how they look, they will not be real tight and they may seem like the rice will come out, just close as best you can, they will be fine.
- So with leaf laying flat, spoon a small amount of rice onto leaf, fold up bottom and roll like a cigar. Don't worry the ends will be open, but cook ok. Some rice may boil out but not much trust me.
- Roll all until leaves are finished.
- Once all rolled and arranged in pot, add a crushed chicken bouillon cube. As you are arranging in pot, you can put a few of the core stems in between layers to help stay in place.
- Take approximately 3 cups water and mix with tomato paste, pour over cabbage. Water should reach just above cabbage. If not enough, add more water.
- Take an old plate, invert it over cabbage to keep from moving too much.
- Put on high, bring to a boil, cook for about 10 minutes, then turn to a lower simmer and cover.
- Should cook for approximately an hour or so, you can check it periodically by tasting to see if rice is cooked inside.
- Once cooked let sit for a little to cool a bit before removing from pot.
- When ready to remove, take a large serving platter, put over top of pot, then flip pot to empty onto platter. Be careful and do over sink if you are unsure. Its easy but take s a little practice.
- Remove core stems, fix tomatoes that are on top, to look presentable.
- *** LEFTOVER TIP: THE NEXT DAY PREPARE THE LEFTOVERS THIS WAY -- PUT SOME BUTTER INTO A PAN, FRY THE STUFFED CABBAGE LEAVES UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN ON ALL SIDES. SUPER TASTY, ENJOY! ***.
Thank you very much for such a detailed way to prepare these, I was lacking a few spices and slight alterations here and there, but they still came out very good and am going to add this to my dinner menu's from now on. I also tried the method( safa suggested, thank you too!) for when when boiling the cabbage and found it was working well. This is the first time I've made these, but I'll be using this recipe again and again. Thank you!
This is exactly how I make it....here's something that I do that might help you with boiling the cabbage....I have one of those big forks...u know the kind that you are supposed to hold a roast beef with? Well...after I cut out all of the stem...I push the fork in there to help me hold it while I am peeling off the leaves. It makes it easier to handle...
Great recipe. I cook mine in spicy Clamato juice and I do add 1/2 cup of thinly chopped parsley.